Wounds are a common infliction and are caused by a variety of injuries and conditions. Typically, wounds heal without the need of medical attention. However, more severe wounds require special care and can lead to serious complications of not treated properly.
Is wound care a specialty?
Over the past 20 years there has been many advancements in the field of wound care. Initially, the only available option to the wound practitioner was wound dressings. With advanced technical innovation, basic science knowledge, and the recent participation of pharmaceutical companies, the wound specialist now has an arsenal of biological tissue replacements, dressings, gene therapy, and cell-based treatment options.
The certification is based upon receiving a specific course of quality education and by proving, through successful written examination, one’s understanding and commitment to appropriate care and management of patients living with chronic wounds. The mission of the ABWMS has been for the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to officially grant the clinical field of wound medicine and surgery this important status and recognize the practice of wound care as a surgical or medical subspecialty.
What are the 4 types of wounds?
An open wound is an injury involving an internal or external tissue break or breaks in the skin. An open wound is experienced by nearly everyone at some point in their life. Most minor open wounds and can be treated at home.
The most common causes of open wounds are accidents with sharp objects, falls, and car accidents. You should seek immediate medical care in the case of a serious accident. This is especially true if bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes or if there’s a substantial amount of bleeding.
There are four types of open wounds:
An abrasion occurs when your skin scrapes or rubs against a hard or rough surface. Abrasions are often referred to as “road rash". The wound needs to be thoroughly cleaned to avoid infection and does not typically have a lot of bleeding.
A laceration is tearing or a deep cut on your skin. Frequent causes of lacerations are accidents with tools, knives, and machinery. Bleeding can be rapid and extensive if the laceration is deep.
Punctures are small holes caused by pointy, long objects, such as nails or needles. Often times a bullet can cause a puncture wound.
Punctures can be deep enough to damage internal organs even though they may not bleed much. Visit your doctor to get a tetanus shot and prevent infection even if you have a small puncture wound.
An avulsion is a complete or partial tearing away of skin and the tissue beneath. Avulsions usually occur during violent accidents, such as explosions, body-crushing accidents, and gunshots. They bleed heavily and rapidly and should be seen by a medical professional immediately.
What does a wound specialist do?
Unlike primary care physicians, wound care specialists do not treat the common cold or perform standard check-ups. They focus entirely on the management and treatment of wounds.
Treating wounds requires so much more than gauze and bandages. Wound care specialists are experts in providing high-quality, comfortable, outpatient wound care that is customized to your unique physical needs:
- Ulcers (arterial, pressure, venous insufficiency, diabetic)
- Radiation injury
- Diabetic complications
- Surgical wounds
Wound care specialists utilize wound care treatments that primary care physicians are not qualified or trained to perform. Placing your care in the hands of a wound care specialist maximizes your chances of success of long-term healing because you can benefit from their specialized procedures and treatments.
Wound care specialists know exactly how to respond to your own wound with the speed and efficiency required to protect your health because they have handled wounds of all kinds.
If you or someone you know have recently sustained a wound, come to AFC Urgent Care today! We have specialists trained in diagnosing, treating and dressing all kinds of wounds. Contact our office today to get in touch with a specialist. To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!