As a caregiver, it can be difficult trying to determine why your patient’s wound won’t heal. You may have taken all of the right steps when initially treating the wound, however, there are a variety of factors that can delay and even stop the wound healing process. Fortunately, with the new Trust Robin Wound Care App, you can effortlessly diagnose and treat a wound. However, if you notice that several weeks have gone by and your patient is still left with an open and unhealed wound, it’s important for you to know why it might not be healing so that you can take the proper steps towards getting your patient to that healing state.
Skin is the body’s first line of defense against bacteria. When the skin breaks, bacteria from the outside world can get into the body through the open wound. If the wound area is infected, you may notice persistent redness, swelling, pain and even foul-smelling fluid. At this point, it is important to diagnose the type of bacteria that entered the wound to resolve the infection so that the body can resume back to its normal course of organic wound healing.
2. Poor circulation
When your body is trying to heal a wound, your red blood cells carry new cells to the wound site to begin rebuilding important tissue structures. However, poor blood circulation can slow down this process, making the time it takes for the wound to heal that much longer. There are a number of reasons one may have poor circulation including diabetes, obesity, blood clots, or another underlying condition. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to improve circulation such as exercising or elevating the wound.
You can’t build a home without the bricks or foundation. Similarly, the body cannot build new tissue without an adequate supply of protein. Insufficient nutrition is an often overlooked reason as to why a wound will not heal. Malnutrition and insufficient protein intake fundamentally halts the wound-healing process until they are corrected.
As mentioned above, poor circulation is one of the side effects of being diabetic. A diabetic’s elevated blood sugar can slow down their circulation and negatively affect their immune system creating an increase in the risk of gaining an infection. Additionally, it can damage the nerves that signal pain, leading to more wounds simply because a diabetic may not necessarily know when something is hurting.
5. Repetitive trauma
When a wound is subject to repetitive pressure due to bumping or rubbing against a surface, it is known as undergoing repetitive trauma which can lengthen, and in some cases even stop, the healing process completely. This is often seen in paraplegic patients and those who suffer from spinal cord injuries that are more prone to developing pressure ulcers. In these cases, repositioning is key so that the patient does not stay in the same position for long durations of time. This will allow normal blood circulation to continue and the wound healing process to occur.
It’s important to understand the different reasons why a wound won’t heal and that more than one of the above conditions can be operating at the same time. The challenge for wound care providers is to recognize these conditions when they are occurring so that they can take the proper steps necessary to resolve the issue and resume the wound healing process. If you’re unsure which stage your patient’s wound is at or what your next steps should be, download the Trust Robin today and gain immediate access to expert wound care knowledge.