What is a Chronic Wound?
A chronic wound is an area of skin breakdown that has not shown signs of improvement in 4 weeks or fails to heal in 8 weeks. Factors such as diabetes, poor circulation, pressure, nutritional deficits or smoking all affect the normal healing process of wounds. When a wound fails to heal it forms a false covering called "fibrin". This "fibrin" stops all of the body's natural attempts to heal the wound and can trap infection in the wound. Trying to heal a wound with "fibrin" is like trying to grow grass under a plastic covering. This "fibrin" must be removed so new skin cells can grow and heal the wound.
At the Largo Medical Center – Indian Rocks Wound Care Center part of our wound care protocol is to remove this false covering that is tricking the body into thinking it is healed. We do this by a process we call "debridement". This is the removal of "fibrin" with an instrument called a curette. Debridement starts the body's healing process all over again by making the body think it has a brand new wound.
Depending on the reason the wound has become chronic, debridement may need to be done a weekly basis until the new cell growth known as epithelialization has occurred.
Debridement is just part of wound care protocol at the Wound Care Center. You may need antibiotics for infection or special dressings to promote healing. The Wound Care Center doctor and nurses will explain your treatment plan and will be sure that the treatment prescribed is the best for you and your wound.