OSWEGO – An alarming 48% of Americans currently suffer from cardiovascular disease, that’s 121.5 million adults. Throughout Heart Health Awareness Month, The Center for Wound Healing at Oswego Health, a member of the Healogics network, will work to spread awareness about how cardiovascular diseases can affect the wound healing process. Chronic wounds affect approximately 8 million people in the United States. If left untreated, an unhealed wound on the foot or leg can lead to a diminished quality of life and possible amputation. As many as 82% of leg amputations are due to poor circulation of the affected limb.
Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, strokes, arrhythmia, vascular disease and other issues with the heart and vessels can causes blockages that obstruct the flow of blood needed for proper wound healing. Differentiating between arterial and venous ulcers may be challenging, but a correct diagnosis can result in optimal treatment options. Careful vascular assessment is key when a patient presents with a lower extremity ulcer as arterial disease is generally contraindicative to compression therapy, the cornerstone of venous ulcer management.
“Heart health is important to the body’s overall wellness and function,” stated Carlos Dator, Jr., MD, Medical Director for The Center for Wound Healing at Oswego Health. “The heart circulates oxygen and nutrient rich blood throughout the body. When the heart is not working properly, just about every function is affected and that includes wound healing. Our team is dedicated to healing chronic wounds and we encourage patients to contact us to prevent conditions that may affect the health of their heart and proper wound healing. It’s also important to note that referrals are not needed.”
The Center for Wound Healing at Oswego Health, offers the following tips to live a heart healthy life:
Eat Heathy: Low-fat, high-fiber food are good for your heart. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains every day.
Be Active: Walk, run, dance, swim . . . find a way to get moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Take Care: Be kind to yourself. Practice positive self-talk. Make sleep a priority. Reduce stress with fun hobbies. Stop smoking and all use of nicotine.
Get Screened: See your healthcare provider at least twice a year. Ask about screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
If a person or someone they know is living with a cardiovascular disease, it is especially important to detect wounds early. Seek specialized wound care to prevent possibly infection, hospitalization and amputation due to poor circulation. For more information, contact The Center for Wound Healing at Oswego Health at 110 W. Sixth St. Oswego or by calling 315-326-3780.