Chronic Wound Care and Prevention Q&A with Dr. Caudill
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Published on July 11, 2022

Chronic Wound Care and Prevention Q&A with Dr. Caudill

Did you know that chronic wounds affect 6.7 million Americans? One in four families has a family member with a chronic wound.
A chronic wound is one that does not heal on its own within 30 days. It has a 50 percent chance of developing into a serious infection. Older adults have a greater risk of developing chronic wounds as well as those with diabetes or vascular disease.

To find out more about the importance of wound care, we caught up with Dr. Allan Caudill, a certified wound specialist with Bronson Wound Center & Hyperbaric Medicine.

Q: What types of conditions do you typically see?
A: We mostly see wounds related to diabetes and vascular disease. The majority of wounds are below the waist because the legs and feet are more impacted by pressure, trauma and blood flow.
We also see patients for burns, non-healing surgical wounds, trauma wounds and wounds caused by radiation therapy.

Q: When is a wound considered chronic?
A: Wounds normally progress through a four-stage healing process. A wound becomes chronic when it gets stuck or stalls in one of the phases. A wound is considered chronic if it does not heal within 30 days.

Q: What causes chronic wounds?
A: There are many causes, but the two most common ones are diabetes and vascular disease.

Diabetes
People with diabetes tend to develop neuropathy which causes a decrease in sensation in the feet or extremities. Because of this, they can get pressure points and small injuries on their feet and other extremities that they don’t feel. Some people have reported walking long distances without realizing there were rocks in their shoes. These types of incidents can quickly cause a wound to develop.

Vascular Disease
This is the second most common cause because healthy blood vessels are needed to deliver oxygen to aid in healing. Oxygen is used throughout all five phases of wound healing. Vascular disease reduces oxygen and delays the healing process.
How often should a person check their own feet?
More often is better than not. You want to check for calluses, dark spots and drainage. People with health conditions like diabetes and vascular disease should be checked more often.

Q: Do I need a referral to see a wound specialist?
A: You do not need a referral to see us, but we do prefer that you start by working closely with your primary care provider to address health concerns. If you don’t have a primary care provider, visit bronsonhealth.com/find-a-doc.

Q: What happens if chronic wounds go untreated?
A: Untreated wounds can lead to serious medical problems such as infection that can then spread to the bone. If it is left untreated at this point, it could lead to amputation.

Q: What treatment options are available for chronic wounds?
A: We have processes and protocols we follow to individualize care for each patient we see. I like to describe it as ‘we treat the whole patient not just the hole in the patient.’ First, we determine the cause. For example, if the cause is diabetes and/or vascular disease, we start working with the patient’s primary care provider, diabetes educators, nutritionists and vascular specialists.

There are also many products that aid in healing and decrease the risk of infection thanks to recently developed science. Sometimes, we can provide treatments such as specialized casts or footwear.

Another treatment available at Bronson is hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The patient will lay down inside a clear chamber that is pressurized with 100 percent oxygen to aid the healing process.

Q: Where can I learn more about wound care at Bronson?
A: You can get information on our website at bronsonhealth.com/wound. You’ll find patient testimonials, articles and educational resources.

Are You Living With a Chronic Wound?

If you or a loved one is experiencing non-healing wounds, talk to a primary care doctor. They will help address health concerns that may be causing your chronic wounds and can refer you to a wound specialist. Bronson Wound & Hyperbaric has locations in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Paw Paw and South Haven. All four locations offer a wide range of treatments and services provided by specialty-trained physicians, nurses and therapists.

Don’t Have a Primary Care Provider?

You do not need a referral to see a wound specialist, but it’s best to start by working closely with your primary care provider to address health concerns. We can help you choose a health provider based on your insurance, location, medical needs and personal preferences—plus, schedule your first appointment. Get started online at bronsonhealth.com/findadoc or talk to a Bronson Care Advisor by phone at (269) 341-7788.

  • Photo of Dr. Caudill.

    Meet The Author

    Allan Caudill, MD is a certified wound specialist with Bronson Wound & Hyperbaric in Paw Paw and South Haven.

    Discover His Approach to Care

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