A need for chronic wound care at the Lotus River Community Day Centre increased drastically when statistics showed staff treating 550 patients per month as compared to 9 patients with chronic ulcers per month in 2014.
Since the implementation of the Chronic Wound Care (CWC) treatment plan in 2014, more than 5 000 patients suffering from chronic ulcers were treated at the Lotus River Community Day Centre between 2014 and 2016. Off those, approximately 90 per cent of the patients showed significant signs of improvement within just 6 months of starting treatment of which more than 50 per cent of patients completely healed of their chronic ulcers.
Amiena Barnes, a nurse at the Lotus Chronic Wound Care Club said that a system was needed to monitor the general health many of the patients who had wounds for years.
“Our Chronic Wound Care Club started in April 2014 following the increase in the number of patients attending the clinic with chronic wounds. Most of those patients had their wounds for more than 20 years with no progress,” Barnes said.
Wounds can be a challenge for many individuals as the healing process for any wound requires good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.
Previously the facility had no monitoring plan in place and was solely focussed on the curative treatment plan without looking at patient-centred care holistically. Barnes emphasised the importance of treating these chronic wounds urging people to adhere to their appointments.
“What we have noticed that a lot of the time patients to not adhere to the appointments that they are given and as a result these untreated chronic wounds could lead to serious infections, diminished quality of life or even the loss of a limb, hence the steps taken to improve the CWC system at Lotus River CDC,“ she explained.
Barnes has indicated that anyone can have access to the treatment.
“Anyone can access unless they are default or none compliant with the treatment. We even train family members to assist patients with the dressing. We try to accommodate by working around the patient’s needs. In fact in an event of a patient being unable to come to us maybe the patient is bed ridden, we have NGOs that go out and assist these patients,” Barnes explained.
Remoune Slinger (24) from Parkwood was treated for leg ulcers by an external healthcare provider for three years. After seeing minimal improvement to his wounds, he eventually presented to the Lotus River CDC, and was referred by the facility’s attending doctor to commence with the CWC treatment plan.
“I am very happy I started this treatment plan. My wound took approximately six months to heal. I am impressed with the management of my wound at the facility,” said Slinger.
The reputation of the successful service provided at the CWC Club has led to other healthcare institutions such as Groote Schuur and Victoria Hospital referring patients to be placed on the system.
The facility received an Innovation Award from the Department in April 2016 for implementing this effective Chronic Wound Care Treatment system, and won third place in the overall Provincial Department of Health iC2AIR2 Awards on 10 August 2016. VOC (Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed)