Brattleboro Memorial Hospital: What is the chronic wound epidemic?

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Millions of people throughout the U.S. suffer every day from an epidemic that's only expected to grow over the next decade. Chronic wounds drastically affect people by diminishing their overall quality of life and potentially decreasing life expectancy if left untreated. Not only is this condition painful, dangerous and scary, but it is also estimated to cost the healthcare industry over $50 billion a year.

Every year, these non-healing wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is expected to rise at a rate of 2 percent annually over the next decade. An aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and vascular disease contribute to the chronic wound epidemic. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to diminished quality of life and possible amputation of the affected limb. Approximately 30 percent of untreated chronic wounds result in amputation, and five-years post-amputation the mortality rate is 50 percent.

Fortunately, there is hope for people who suffer from chronic wounds. Every team member at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Center for Wound Healing dedicates themselves to healing and caring for people with hard-to-heal wounds. The expertise of specially trained wound care physicians allows the Center to treat a variety of chronic wounds.

Wound Care Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to educate patients, caregivers, and physicians about chronic wounds and advanced wound care treatment options. Join us in our mission to raise awareness of the chronic wound epidemic and the benefits of advanced wound care. If you or a loved one is experiencing a chronic non-healing wound, we would love for you to find the relief you deserve. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Center for Wound Healing 802-275-3674.

Stephen Fox is a general surgery specialist at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

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