A wound is a break in the skin. Any wound that does not show improvement in four weeks or is not totally healed in eight weeks is considered to be a chronic, non-healing wound. Approximately six million people in the United States suffer from chronic, non-healing wounds, and this number is growing steadily. Patients over the age 65 are the most frequent chronic wound sufferers. People with diabetes and venous insufficiency, are among those who most commonly develop chronic wounds. The ability for wounds to heal properly is determined by ensuring adequate blood supply, proper wound care techniques, and control of coexisting medical problems.
It is estimated that 25% of diabetics will develop a foot ulcer and 70% of those patients will suffer from a recurrent wound within 5 years. If wounds are left untreated, they can lead to amputation. It is estimated that every 30 seconds a lower limb is amputated somewhere in the world because of a diabetic wound.
Risk Factors for Developing Wounds
Intrinsic Factors (Biological Factors)
- Decreased sensation
- Systemic illness (Diabetes)
- Age (less epidermal adhesion, less collagen formation)
- Decreased cardiovascular function
- Decreased mobility
- Previous scar tissue
- Tissue hypoxia from pressure or anemia
- Circulation or clotting disorders
Extrinsic Factors (Environmental Factors)
- Immunosuppressive Therapy
- Emotional stress
- Environmental cold
- Poor nutrition
- Persistent, increased pain in the area of the wound, especially at night
- Limited amount of time tolerated for standing
- Discoloration of the wound near the edges
- Increased drainage from the wound
- Redness or swelling around or spreading away from the wound
- A foul odor coming from the wound
Types of Wounds
Every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone loses a lower limb as a result of diabetes. Diabetes and wounds are a dangerous combination. A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that most commonly occurs on the bottom of the foot in approximately 25 percent of patients with diabetes. Ulcers form due to a combination of factors, such as lack of feeling in the foot, poor circulation, foot deformities, irritation (such as friction or pressure), and trauma, as well as duration of diabetes.
An arterial ulcer is caused by arterial insufficiency. Such ulcers are found in patients with arterial circulatory disorders such as hypertension, diabetes and arteriosclerosis. Because nicotine enhances vasoconstriction, smokers are also prone to these. Arterial ulcers are small, regularly shaped and deep. Usually they occur on the tip of toes, heels or sides of the feet and are covered with eschar (or scab).
A Venous Ulcer is a wound resulting from poorly working one-way valves in the veins of the legs. Pooling of blood occurs, increasing internal vein pressure and leading to leakage of fluid into the tissues. Edema constricts the capillaries, which leads to tissue death. Venous ulcers are usually superficial, irregular in shape and drain water like fluid.
Traditional Wound Treatments
- Antibiotic and antibacterial use
- Debridement (is the medical removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue)
- Vacuum-assisted closure
- Moist wound healing
- Dressings and bandages
- Removing mechanical stress (off loading)
- Adding cells or other materials to secrete or enhance levels of healing factors
- Pneumatic compression device
- UV-C therapy
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
How The Venowave Can Help
Wound Care Patients have traditionally been an underserved population with very few alternatives- until today. The Venowave is a medical device that has been statistically proven to improve circulation in the lower extremities. Several medical case studies have demonstrated significant results in healing Diabetic, arterial and venous wounds. By increasing circulation, the Venowave draws a higher level of oxygen to wound sites, promoting faster healing in various types of wounds and fending off potential amputations. The Venowave is applied to the back of the calf and mimics the body’s venous system forcing the blood to be pumped from the affected leg. The Venowave is unique because it is lightweight (270g, about half a pound), discreet and allows patients to remain completely mobile. There are no wires, tubes or sleeves.
What is the Venowave Useful For?
- Chronic Wounds
- Arterial Wounds
- Venous Wounds
- Diabetic Wounds