The first step to getting a loved one help for chronic wounds is understanding what chronic wounds are. Unlike regular wounds that start the healing process within 30 days, chronic wounds take much longer to heal.
Healing stages for chronic wounds
For chronic wounds, the healing process is complicated. A few things happen with chronic wounds. The wound can get too inflamed and this compromises the healing process. The wound can also become infected and produce too much bacteria and this may result in biofilm. Another condition that impacts wound healing is hypoxia. Hypoxia creates an environment for bacteria to thrive and limits collagen production. Most chronic wounds remain in a constant state of inflammation. This is likely due to infection. The average wound goes through four phases.
This is the first stage of wound healing. During this phase, the body produces blood clots to control the flow of blood.
After blood clots form, the wound becomes inflamed. Inflammation prevents infection as the body produces cells to destroy bacteria and other foreign intruders.
This is the third stage of the process. At this point, the wound is smaller and produces new tissues. This is when a scar starts to form.
The wound produces excess collagen that continues to form new tissues. In this stage, the wound is healed.
How can I help a loved one heal a chronic wound?
The best way to help a loved one is by getting the patient medical attention. Loved ones that act as caregivers may notice something is wrong with the wound due to size, shape, or complaints from the patient. However, the only way to find the root cause of the issue is through medical care. Additionally, a healthcare provider will be able to offer tips and advice to the caregiver to help speed up the healing process.
Speak to a physician
Healthcare providers can offer information regarding changing wound dressings and signs of infection. For patients with chronic wounds, infection is a major issue. Caregivers need to know what to look for in a wound to identify infection before the issue gets worse. Additionally, caregivers must also know how to properly dress the wound to prevent infections. Speak to a healthcare provider to learn more about chronic wounds.