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Neighborhood Health Watch: Dr. Stephen Crossland _Diabetic foot wounds

– [Announcer] Neighborhood
Health Watch is sponsored by by the doctors of HCA
Virginia Healthcare System. – Today at Neighborhood Health Watch, diabetic foot wounds
and treatment options. There are a number of things that can slow or complicate healing, including diabetes. High levels of blood
glucose caused by diabetes can affect the nerves, and over time cause
poor blood circulation. Healthy blood circulation is necessary for your skin to repair
properly, so wounds with sores that take more than a few weeks to heal, might be infected and might
need medical attention, and can often indicated the presence of an underlying disease,
such as diabetes. Dr. Stephen Crossland with Chippenham and Johnston-Willis
Hospitals is here with us on first at four to get us informed. Let’s start out, if you would, talking about what diabetes
does to a person’s foot. – Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects the whole body. It does particularly affect
nerves, and involuntary nerves in like in the temperature,
pain sensation in the feet. So people with diabetes
often have neuropathy, they can’t feel things,
so they can develop a sore or an area they don’t feel,
and it lasts for quite a while, before they find it. So inspecting your feet every day as a diabetic is essential, for looking for this. If you can’t have someone else do it, or look in the mirror at least. The other thing it does, is it
can change circulation flow. People with diabetes often
get hardening of the arteries, and then now they got a poor
circulation into the foot, they get a wound, it won’t heal. It compounds it. High blood sugar levels will
also keep wounds from healing, and makes chronic wounds
very difficult to heal. – How do you prevent that from happening? – Well, one of the things is, like we have at Chippenham Hospital, so the diabetic limb salvage program, if people get involved
in programs like that, They have a very good success rate with keeping the problems away
and helping, about by 50%, they can cut down diabetic
foot ulcers and amputations. But it’s a proactive thing, You need a good podiatrist
to see for things, for developments of problems, get your nails trimmed the way you should, don’t do them yourself. Wear good protection, never go barefooted, don’t subject those feet– – Never go barefooted. – Never go barefooted as a diabetic, because you can step on
something like a thumbtack in your house and not feel it. We see patients who have
embedded thumbtacks, they had no idea they were in their foot, or a piece of glass. So you always should put on slippers when you’re going to be moving around. Never go outside without
some kind of protection on your feet. – What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy? – Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is delivery of 100% oxygen you breath
under very high pressure, about 33 feet under the ocean. – And that’s a treatment
option that’s offered at Chippenham and Johnston-Willis? – Just at Chippenham, we
have two chambers there. And certain diabetic wounds
that meet certain criteria, we can place in those chambers, and they help to heal those wounds. The other big thing is when
you see your physician, you need to take your shoes
and socks off every visit. Let them look at your feet every visit. – And that’s not something the doctor would automatically ask? – Most of them do, but on
a busy day, they might not. – You need to be a self-advocate. – You have them off when that
provider comes into the room so they can be reminded and
check those feet for you. – So quickly, the prognosis is good? – Yeah, well, if you find them early. If your wound goes beyond six
weeks before it’s treated, very poor results come out of that. Again, limb salvage programs
and things of that sort, help to decrease the problems. In the United States, there are about 73,000 amputations a year. – So people need to get
to their doctor and– – And 85% of them start
as a diabetic foot ulcer. – Alright, Dr. Crossland, thank
you so much for joining us.

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