No stitch up: Wounds a $3 billion sore point at hospitals

PATIENT wounds which need to be treated are costing the nation $3 billion a year with 400,000 Australians suffering from chronic wounds.

During national Wound Awareness Week clinical nurse  with the Western NSW Local Health District (WLHD) Joe Webster said expert wound care for chronic wounds has the potential to half healing times, particularly for patients with leg ulcers.

This year’s theme of Wound Awareness Week “Got a wound? Get a wound expert” is aimed at encouraging patients to seek help and continue treatment with a wound expert.

For people living in Orange that is at the ambulatory clinic at the rear of Orange hospital.

Alternatively patients are able to make use of a community nursing service where nurses visit homes of patients to dress their wounds.

Mr Webster said by accessing appropriate wound care at the right time pressure is reduced on general practitioners, community care and hospital and greatly reduces the financial burden on the public health system.

He said according to the Australian Wound Management Association, wounds cost the health system per patient $10,000 annually.

Mr Webster said this week WLHD staff are focusing on reducing the incidence of pressure injuries in their patients.

“Pressure ulcers are largely preventable but are recognised internationally as a major patient safety problem,” he said.

If you need help with managing a wound or ulcer at home contact Orange Health Service’s ambulatory care unit on 6369 3295 and  arrange for treatment. However you will need to ask your GP for a referral to the service.

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