They say that time heals all wounds, but that’s not necessarily true. Without advanced therapies, some wounds can take years and even decades to heal; in extreme cases, wounds that do not respond to treatment may lead to amputation. Fauquier Health opened the Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center at 493 Blackwell Road, Suite 104, to offer the community state-of-the-art specialized wound healing care.
Dr. Robert Dart, medical director for the new facility, said, "With the rising rate of diabetes, there is a great need for a specialized care center that can treat the wounds associated with the disease, as well as help patients with other skin, bone and tissue conditions caused by illness or injury.”
In addition to Dr. Dart, five local physicians provide care for patients: Dr. Joseph David, Dr. Larry Heath, Dr. Tam Ly, Dr. John McCue and Dr. Lynn Samuel. The doctors and clinical staff are skilled in the latest therapeutic methods in wound management and stay abreast of leading information through continuous training.
To establish the center, Fauquier Health partnered with Florida-based National Healing Corporation, which manages wound healing centers nationwide.
Dr. Dart explained, "Patients are treated with state-of-the art technology and have their progress charted through digital photographs.” He added, “Our treatments are evidence-based and best practice driven. Our patients do not undergo any treatment or progress to a new level of treatment until the need is clearly indicated."
Likely candidates for treatment are those suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections and wounds that haven't healed within 30 days. The center's hyperbaric oxygen chambers can also be used to treat patients suffering from such uncommon ailments as cyanide poisoning, gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning, brown recluse spider bites and the “bends,” or decompression sickness.
Patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans may self-refer to the Wound Healing Center. However, one of the center's missions is to build relationships with patients' primary care physicians.
"We become a partner in the patient's medical care," said Dr. Dart. "While we dedicate our efforts to healing the patient's wound, the primary care physician is free to focus on treating the underlying cause or disease. Through regular reports and phone calls, we work with the patient’s doctors and other experts in the program to develop a total approach to treatment and care."
One of the highly specialized treatments offered at the Wound Healing Center is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which works by surrounding the patient with 100 percent oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure. This increases the amount of oxygen in the patient's blood and, in the case of wounds, allows red blood cells to pass more easily through the plasma into the wound to heal it from the inside out. Diabetic foot wounds are an example of wounds that may benefit most from this type of treatment.
Relaxing on a bed encased within a large see-through plastic shell, patients can watch movies or DVDs on televisions mounted above the chamber, while hearing the movies and conversing with others outside the chamber through a speaker system. The only physical sensation resulting from the treatment is a slight pressure on the eardrum, such as that felt when a plane lands, as the air in the chamber is compressed.
In addition to tissue oxygenation, the Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center also employs the use of vascular studies, tissue culturing and pathology, revascularization, bio-engineered skin grafting and clinical or surgical debridement.
For more information about the Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center or to make an appointment, call 540-316-HEAL (4325).