Patricia Specht of Overland Park is walking on two feet today because of the treatment she received at Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s (SMMC) Wound Care Center©.
Specht, who is 65 and has had diabetes for nearly 20 years, knew she was at a high risk for developing foot wounds that could lead to serious infections and even the loss of a foot or leg. Every hour, seven people across the country lose a foot or leg to diabetes, which is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations not caused by accidents.
Still, Specht didn’t realize the sore on the ball of her foot was actually an ulcer that had become seriously infected. When she finally showed the wound to her primary care physician, she was sent to SMMC’s Wound Care Center.
In its 15th year, the Wound Care Center, with locations on the SMMC campus and at the Shawnee Mission Outpatient Pavilion at Prairie Star Parkway in Lenexa, offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered skin substitutes, biological and biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies.
For Specht, whose infection had spread to a bone in her foot and posed a risk for amputation, doctors prescribed a combination of antibiotics and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Specht underwent 40 two-hour sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Finally, her wound was healed.
“It was just amazing; I would go to the Wound Care Center again in a heartbeat,” says Specht. “I couldn’t say enough about the wonderful care I received, and my foot is all better. I look at it all the time; it’s cured.”
Specht’s success is inspiring, but not unique to patients treated at the Wound Care Center where there’s a greater than 94 percent healing rate, said Cindy Ambrose, Program Director at the Wound Care Center at Prairie Star.
“We have a lot of success,” she said. “We consider our Wound Care Center to be unique because we have a multidisciplinary staff that can provide the specialists needed, all in one setting. We work closely with the patient’s physician to ensure the whole person is being treated. Our plan of wound care treatment is individualized to incorporate our patient’s lifestyle. We provide education at each visit to our patients and their caregivers regarding their current treatment and prevention measures.”
Physicians at SMMC’s Wound Care Center recommend people with diabetes manually inspect their feet each day and seek immediate attention if a lower extremity wound has increased pain, redness or swelling, foul wound odor, or a change in color or the amount of drainage.
To learn more, call SMMC’s Wound Care Center:
Main Campus: 913789-5560
Shawnee Mission Outpatient Pavilion at Prairie Star Parkway: 913-676-8600
• Every hour, seven people across the country lose a foot or leg to diabetes, which is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations not caused by accidents.
• According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one in three people with diabetes ages 40 and older have at least one area on their feet that lacks feeling. Those at greater risk for nerve damage include diabetics who have difficulty controlling their blood sugar, high cholesterol, weight or blood pressure.
• One in 20 diabetics will develop a wound on the legs or feet each year. The risk of amputations can be reduced by 45 to 85 percent through foot care programs that can include risk assessment, education, treatment of foot problems and referrals to specialists.