ConvaTec, A British Company, has been a world leader in skin and wound care products for over 20 years. They work on the principal of creating new medical technology and products “to use for and impact the safe recovery of the patient.” One of their major focuses is to help manage wounds due to burns, diabetic foot ulcers, leg ulcers due to decreased circulation or peripheral vascular disease, pressure or bed sores over a bony prominence, surgical wounds, as well as skin tears for elderly thin skinned patients. A wound is a breakdown of the protective layer of skin which acts as a barrier to the outside environment. When the skin breaks down, bacteria and viruses can enter the body and cause multiple problems if not treated.
Wound care represents a large burden to our already over used health care system. Wounds that do not heal properly and create complications can cause increased hospitalization, delayed discharge, loss of productivity, and severe depression.
People with diabetes suffer from an increased amount of lower limb wounds due to neuropathy or nerve damage as well as decreased immune systems and reduced blood flow. There are an estimated 80,000 lower limb amputations in the U.S. per year. A person with diabetes is 10 times more likely to have a lower limb amputation than the rest of the population.
ConvaTec has created hydrofiber technology for wound care control. It becomes a gel on contact with the fluid. This helps dressings respond to the wound by removing wound fluid and bacteria from the wound area. This allows for improved and quick healing. Products like Aquacel and Versiva help create a moist wound environment and support healing while reducing inflammation. Versiva also contains a water proof backing to help keep bacteria and viruses away. ConvaTec products are cost efficient, more effective then traditional dressings like gauze, easy to apply as well as having the ability to last up to a week without a dressing change. These products also minimize painful removal when the need for dressing changes occurs.
The steps for proper wound management include compression for venous problems, debridement or removal of infected or dead tissue, fluid or exudates loss management, infection management requiring antibiotics, odor management due to certain types of bacteria, and off loading using a wheelchair, crutch, or boot.
Remember to always check with your podiatrist or physician when you suspect you have a wound. Think of prevention first by-
- Maintaining glucose levels to an A1C of 6.5-7.0%
- Maintaining acceptable body weight
- Not smoking
- Doing daily foot inspections
- Not going barefoot even indoors ,at the beach or in the pool or ocean
- Wearing proper socks and diabetic foot inserts to help with foot pressure and alignment
- Keeping regular visits to your podiatrist
- Washing daily with warm water and drying carefully between the toes
Wound care can be very involved and traumatic. Luckily, today, we have the best technology and products available through companies like ConvaTec.