PETALING JAYA: Advances in wound care have reduced the chances of patients suffering from diabetic wounds having to go through their worst nightmare – amputation of a limb.
Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said wound care was now increasingly recognised as a medical field of its own.
“About 20 to 30 years ago, management of wounds in patients was at a basic level. Gauze used for dressing the wound may stick to the new tissue, causing it to peel off when the dressing is changed.
“This does not only cause higher pain and psychological trauma to the patient, but it slows down the healing of the wound, prolonging the pain,” he said after launching the International Wound Care and Biotherapy Conference here yesterday.
Dr Jeyaindran said 20% of Malaysian adults were diabetics and a quarter of them also suffered from diabetic foot complications. Amputation rates are 4.3%, according to the Malaysian Diabetic Foot Registry.
He observed that there were also other types of wounds which were increasing in numbers here, such as pressure injury, arterial and venous ulcers, surgical and traumatic wounds, autoimmune and oncological wounds.
“Of course, using technologically advanced wound dressing is slightly more costly than traditional dressing, but one must look at the long-term effects.
“A patient using traditional dressing must go to a healthcare professional to change it every day, while advanced dressing only needs to be changed every four to five days.
“Healthcare professionals can also operate with more efficiency because they can cut short the time required to change the dressing, and allocate slots to more patients each day,” he said.
Following a circular from the ministry in 2011, all public hospitals in the country now have a dedicated wound care team, which relieves the workload of staff in other departments while streamlining wound management for patients.