Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation
An area of medical practice people may not realize is offered locally is wound care. The first written records containing information relating to wounds dates back to 2500 BC. Hippocrates advanced wound care by suggesting contused wounds be treated with salves. Bandaging became an art in fifth century BC and surgeons quickly discovered binding too tightly caused gangrene.
Wound care has come quite a ways since then. Today, Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) in partnership with Restorix Health, a National Wound Care Company offers wound care dedicated to helping patients with difficult-to-heal wounds at the SNMH Outpatient Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Center (WHC).
WHC specializes in treating chronic, non-healing wounds and ostomy care. Ostomy is an artificial opening in the body created during an operation. There is also hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This involves exposing the body to 100 percent oxygen at a pressure that is greater than normal. Wounds need oxygen to heal properly as exposing a wound to oxygen helps speed the healing process.
A collaborative team of five physicians and four nurses certified in wound care work at WHC. Additionally there is a hyperbaric oxygen technician and support staff. Physicians include Dr. Marc Claydon, podiatrist; Dr. Stephen Waterbrook, general surgeon; Dr. Brent McDermott, internal medicine; Dr. Thomas Boyle, general surgeon; and Dr. Bruce Lattyak, plastic surgery and ear, nose, throat specialist.
Sophie Jackson, RN, joined as the program director in September, 2020. She has seven years of nursing experience in the outpatient clinic setting. Sophie started her journey in healthcare as a member of the SNMH Auxiliary nearly a decade ago volunteering in the SNMH emergency department.
How does one know if specialized wound care is necessary? Individuals with a wound that has not healed or responded to conventional therapy with a primary care provider within 30 days, or has a difficult-to-heal wound are candidates for wound care. Some wounds require advanced dressings or extensive modalities that are difficult to provide in a private office setting. These include multilayer compression bandages, offloading devices such as UNNA boots, wound vac systems, or skin substitutes.
Complex wounds, depending on their location and type, may require multiple adjunctive therapies or nursing staff to properly dress the wound. This is where the WHC can really help. When medically indicated, they can order wound care supplies and have them delivered to a home. They also collaborate with members of a patient’s medical team including primary care doctors, oncologists, home health, and palliative care nurses to keep them involved in a patient’s treatment plan and healing process.
WHC manages all types of difficult-to-heal wounds such as diabetic ulcers, venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, trauma wounds, arterial ulcers, burns, radiation wounds, post-surgical flap or grafts and crush injuries.
Last May, the WHC celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Throughout the pandemic they have remained open at 300 Sierra College Drive. For more information, call 530-272-8619.
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