Wound Care Center shows off new chambers

First Posted: 1/22/2009

Doctors who will be treating patients at the new Wound Care Center in Mount Airy greeted guests and answered questions about the treatments that will be available at the facility Thursday during an open house.
The Wound Care Center at Northern Hospital of Surry County opened on Wednesday and hosted an open house Thursday night. The state-of-the-art outpatient center, at South Street Medical Center, 314 S. South St., Suite 200, will offer advanced technologies and proven clinical practice guidelines in the treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds.
We are excited to add this important service to our continuum of care, said Dr. William Refvem, medical director. Not only does the Wound Care Center complement the quality care already available at the hospital, but it fills an important need in the community. In the past, people may have had to travel long distances to receive this level of wound care. Now we offer the latest techniques right here in our own community.
Nationally, approximately 7 million people suffer from wounds that will not heal; a serious problem that can lead to amputation of limbs and dramatically impaired quality of life, according to Laura Joyce, program director of the new center. Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins and immobility, non-healing wounds occur most frequently in the elderly and in people with diabetes populations that are sharply rising as the nation ages and chronic diseases increase.
Dr. Bruce Middleton, who already treats wounds at Surry Surgical Associates, said he really liked the new chairs in The Wound Care Center, which are designed specifically for treating wounds.
The chairs allow the patient to be comfortable and still allow us to get them up high enough and tilt them back so that it is also easier for us to treat the patients. There was a lady that I derided two weeks ago, who had two heels ulcers and I had to quit after one because I was on the floor trying to get to the heel. I dont do well on the floor. It was very uncomfortable. But these chairs will allow us great access to the wound site, Middleton said.
Visitors to the grand opening were impressed with the hyperbaric chambers, which will help wounds heal more quickly. Brenda Martin, the hyperbaric technician at the clinic, gave tours to visitors in the hyperbaric room.
Some people are worried that they might be claustrophobic. But we educate them on the process and we can talk back and forth with the patients while they are in the chambers on phones or with sign language, Martin said.
Televisions are mounted on the tops of the two chambers. Treatments typically last two hours.
Joyce said that a handful of patients have already self-referred themselves to the center.
Several months ago, Northern Hospital of Surry County chose to work with Diversified Clinical Services, a national wound management program, to develop the center. By partnering with Diversified, NHSC will be able to provide advanced treatments that radically speed the wound healing process.
The center will be staffed with seven physicians working four- to eight-hour shifts in addition to their regular practices. They are Dr. William Refvem, orthopedic surgery; Drs. R. Bruce Middleton and Scott Corbin, general surgery; Drs. Zuzana Banas and Brad Goad, internal medicine; Dr. David Majure, family practice; and Dr. Jim Shipley, podiatrist.
For more information about The Wound Care Center, call 786-2033.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or 719-1930.

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