Friday, February 14, 2014

Caring for chronic wounds

WOUND HEALERS: Members of the MGH Wound Care team.

With rising life expectancy in the U.S. and the increasing prevalence of chronic medical conditions, the need for advanced treatment of chronic wounds also is on the rise. Most wounds heal normally over time; however, chronic or slow-healing wounds may require a dedicated approach to help them fully heal.

As a result of this growing patient population, the MGH has expanded its Wound Care Program, which promotes the rapid healing of wounds using skin debridement, advanced topical therapies and dressings, and surgical treatments. The program – organized within the MGH Vascular Center – is led by Michael Watkins, MD, who will serve as its medical director; Virginia Capasso, RN, PhD, advanced practice nurse; and Keith Marple, administrative director.

“The need to better coordinate the expertise of many specialists to care for these complicated patients made this a sound investment for the institution,” says Ann Prestipino, senior vice president of Surgical and Anesthesia Services and Clinical Business Development.

The expanded program now includes wound care in Waltham as well as a new coordinated phone line and electronic referral form to manage patients regardless of the underlying condition. Staff can refer patients with non-healing wounds to the program using the “Wound Care Program” form in CRMS, or at the 6-HEAL referral line (617-726-4325). Given the many different clinical specialties that take part in the care of wounds, a referral coordinator will ensure the right specialists are involved in each patient’s care.

“Chronic wounds can be incredibly painful and debilitating, but with the expert collaboration of many teams around the hospital, we can create a comprehensive solution to heal these wounds,” says Michael R. Jaff, DO, medical director of the Vascular Center.

For more information, email Marple at 

Read more articles from the 02/14/14 Hotline issue.


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