Healing your wound is our priority. We understand it can be a bit overwhelming. It’s difficult at times to process all the information and instructions being given to you. To help make things easier, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the information you need, please comment below or call our clinic at (208) 529-7986.
A: Compression therapy is a special treatment used to lower edema, or swelling, in the arms, hands, legs or feet. Edema happens when extra fluid gets locked in tissues. This extra fluid should be carried in blood or lymph vessels. This is like what happens when you have a leaky garden hose – most of the water is still being carried in the hose, but some of it leaks out. Compression therapy would be like supporting the hose to hold the water inside. In compression therapy, we use gentle, steady pressure to move extra fluid out of the tissues and back into vessels. This therapy takes the heavy, hurting, tired feeling out of swollen tissues & brings them back to a normal state.
In compression therapy, we may use special stockings, fabrics and /or bandages to gently squeeze, or compress, the affected arm, hand, leg or foot. This squeezing (or compression) is tightest at the ankle and becomes less tight as it moves up the leg.
There are good things when using compression therapy:
- The most important thing is that compression, when fit and placed correctly, lowers and helps to stop swelling. Not only do patients feel better, but their injured tissues heal faster, clothes fit better and they live a more active lifestyle.
- Compression also helps to keep veins & smaller vessels healthy by giving extra support. This extra support lowers pain, swelling and skin changes familiar to people with venous insufficiency (a common problem where veins—mostly in the lower legs—are weak and have a hard time working to push blood flow to the heart).
We hope this has helped you understand more about compression therapy – what it is and how it works. If you still have questions, give us a call! We are happy help you find answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
A: Compression stockings are designed to help control swelling in the feet, ankles and lower legs. If you wake up and you don’t have any swelling, that is the perfect time to put on the stockings! As the day goes on, the stockings control the swelling, and help keep vessels and tissues healthy. Waiting until there is swelling, or until swelling gets really bad to put stockings on will make life much more difficult. Compression stockings are made to fit the arm/leg as it is without swelling. It may be very difficult, or even impossible, to get stockings on when the arm/leg is already swollen.
If a doctor has told you to wear your compression stockings every day, that means you need to wear them whether your arm/leg is swollen or not. If you have been wearing compression stockings every day, but the swelling seems to be getting worse, contact your doctor, as this may be a sign of a larger problem. It may also mean that the stockings are worn out and need to be replaced.
We hope this has helped you understand more about why you should wear your compression stockings every day. If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
A: You can call 208-529-7986 (link to “Contact us” button) and schedule with the receptionist or leave a message and they will call you back. You do not have to have a doctor’s referral but it does make it much easier on you as a patient and on the clinic. If need be, see your primary care doctor or urgent / emergent care to provide a referral and get the ball rolling.
We hope this has helped you understand more about how to schedule an appointment with the EIRMC Wound Care Center. If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
A: Plan to be 15 minutes early to register at the Registration/Patient Check-in desk in the front lobby of EIRMC. After you check in with them, you will come back to the clinic and finish registration by filling out a health questionnaire.
Your first visit will take about 90 minutes. During that visit, you can expect the following:
- Be met by our friendly staff and the provider that you are scheduled to see.
- Pictures and measurements of your wounds will be taken for documentation reasons.
- You will have a photo taken of your face to be placed in your chart for identification and to keep you safe.
- You will meet your Patient Care Coordinator, who will review with you her role as well as the policies and responsibilities of our wound care team during your treatment. You are an important part of that team.
- During that first visit your doctor may ask to have labs, swab of injured tissue or other necessary tests done. Some of these may be able to be done during your visit, others may have to be scheduled separately. If a separate appointment is needed, your Patient Care Coordinator will assist in scheduling these appointments for you.
- You will have the opportunity to be involved in your treatment.
- Follow up appointments will be scheduled as needed.
- Wound care visit notes and orders will be sent to any involved parties (skilled nursing, home health, and/or your primary care doctor, to list a few).
We hope this has helped you understand more about what to expect for your first EIRMC Wound Care Center appointment. If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
A: Hyperbarics, also known as Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT, (**Please hyperlink “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy” to the Hyperbarics page) is a treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen while sitting or lying in a pressurized tube or chamber. Hyperbarics has been shown to be very good at treating a variety of conditions / injuries ranging from carbon monoxide poisoning to serious infections / wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation.
Hyperbarics works by getting lots of oxygen into your bloodstream and from there to your tissues & organs (including skin & bone). Your body needs oxygen to heal, so this increase in oxygen is like turbo-charging your body’s ability to heal & repair tissue. Hyperbarics has been approved for specific uses by the FDA. Most insurance companies will cover Hyperbarics for those uses.
We hope this has helped you understand more about Hyperbarics. If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
A: Pressure injuries – the official name for pressure sores, bed sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers – can develop when pressure causes skin to get cut off from its blood supply. This happens when a person lays or sits for an extended period of time without moving. These injuries are most common where bones are near the skin surface. For example; hips, back, buttocks (or “sit bones”), shoulders, heels, ankles, knees, elbows, ears, and the back of the head. In these areas, the skin is thinner and less able to handle constant pressure.
People most at risk for pressure injuries are unable to feel pressure on an area of their body and/or unable to change positions. This includes those who are:
- Bed-ridden, or unable to get out of bed on their own.
- Wheelchair bound
- Very weak / ill and unable to change positions frequently on their own
- Those with neuropathy, or the inability to feel pressure in certain areas / body parts
Pressure injuries can form quickly – just an hour or so is needed to cut off enough of the blood flow that soft tissues (skin, muscle & fat cells) start to die. When soft tissues start to die, a pressure injury has occurred. Pressure injuries are measured in stages. There are different stages of injuries based on how far down the injury has gone into the tissue.
What can I do?
Some things you can do to help prevent pressure injuries, or keep them from getting worse, include:
- Change positions often – this is called “redistributing weight” because you are shifting the pressure & weight of the body to different places, keeping focused, damaging pressure to a minimum.
- Use cushions or pillows to take the weight off (also called “offloading”) of these areas.
- Avoid sliding across surfaces as this can tear or damage fragile skin.
- Keep skin clean and dry but moisturized.
- Apply lotion to very dry areas to keep skin from cracking
- Eat a healthy, high protein diet
- Check skin twice a day to catch any early signs of pressure (redness, tenderness)
We hope this has helped you understand more about Pressure injuries – what they are, how they happen and what you can do to prevent them. If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
Medline Plus Patient information sites (also in Spanish):
How to prevent Pressure sores: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000147.htm
How to Care for Pressure sores: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000740.htm
A: “Proper Footwear” refers to shoes that are appropriate for your foot and the special needs it may have. Certain conditions such as diabetes or foot deformities can make you more likely to have or develop foot sores and injuries. Your doctor may recommend special shoes or custom inserts. Well-fitting shoes and socks will help protect your feet and keep them healthy. These shoes or inserts can also keep a foot that is injured or has wounds from getting worse. A well-trained Podiatrist, (a.k.a. “foot doctor”) can help identify specific things your shoes & socks should, or should not have/do.
We hope this has helped you understand more about Proper Footwear. If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
A: Smoking causes wounds to heal slower. This is because the chemicals in tobacco smoke cause blood vessels to constrict, or get smaller. When this happens, less blood is getting to the tissues in your body – including injured tissues. Blood carries oxygen to your tissues. Oxygen gives your tissues the energy they need to work properly. Healing takes a lot of work and energy. Smoking cuts off the energy supply to your wounds. This slows down healing. Even one cigarette a day can prevent a wound from healing.
Electronic smoking devices (e-Cigs, Vape, e-cigars, e-hookas, etc.) are not a safe alternative to smoking. All electronic smoking devices contain the same chemicals that constrict blood vessels and keep healthy blood cells from getting oxygen to your wound.
We hope this has helped you understand more about smoking, how it affects your wound healing and the role of electronic smoking devices in your healing. If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!
** We understand that quitting is hard. Here are some links to resources that can help you quit: http://www.quitnow.net , http://www.projectfilter.org , and http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/ are just a few! Talk to your provider today and make a plan. You are not alone on this journey.
** Here is the American Lung Association’s explanation of how Electronic smoking devices really aren’t any better for you than tobacco (and may be worse) http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/e-cigarettes-and-lung-health.html
http://www.woundcareclinic.net/2013/smoking-and-wound-healing/ (benefits of quitting)
A: Home health can be a wonderful thing for our patients who need frequent wound care. However, even if your home health nurse is trained in wound care, he/she is not allowed, by law, to provide wound care without a doctor’s order. The EIRMC Wound Care Center works with your home health agency to provide those orders so that your nurse can take care of your wound at home between visits.
We hope this has helped you understand more about how home health and the EIRMC Wound Care Center can work together to heal your wound(s). If you still have questions, give us a call! We would love to help you find solutions & answers to your questions. Thank you for choosing EIRMC!