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Podiatric Medicine Doctor To Educate Community on Diabetic Foot Ulcers At Harlingen Medical Center

Podiatric Medicine Doctor To Educate Community on Diabetic Foot Ulcers At Harlingen Medical Center

04-23-2015

Harlingen – They can severely alter the image of your feet. They can cause severe pain on your feet. They can even cause your feet to be amputated, partially or completely. But, diabetic foot ulcers can be treated before they escalate out of control and cause serious injury and physical debilitation to you. That's the message that Dr. Sandra Blanco will deliver to attendees at the next Harlingen Medical Center Doc Talk Lecture scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the hospital's Medical Office Building Conference Room, located at 5505 S. Expressway 77 in Harlingen.

Nurse looking over patient in a Sechrist machine"Foot ulcers are commonly found in people who suffer from diabetes, also known as high blood sugar, and they can cause serious damage to one's physicality if not treated properly and efficiently," said Dr. Blanco, Podiatrist and Partner-In-Care to Harlingen Medical Center's Wound Healing Center. "A foot ulcer is an open sore, or wound, and usually develops under one's foot. This open sore, or wound, tends to develop from the body's reaction to diabetes. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the U.S."

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month and as an extension of its community outreach and education program, the award-winning and nationally recognized, Harlingen Medical Center will host Dr. Blanco and her message of education and treatment to beat diabetic foot ulcers.

In her Doc Talk Lecture, Dr. Blanco will cover:

  • Neuropathy and how it can nurture a foot ulcer
  • Foot deformities and how they can nurture a foot ulcer
  • How to recognize a diabetic foot ulcer
  • Treatments available to prevent diabetic foot ulcers from developing and treatment and prevent of infection
  • Options for corrective surgery
  • And, other need to know treatments and services

Dr. Blanco will also lecture on the importance of vigilance and the caring for your feet, daily.

"Often times, people do not even know that they have a foot ulcer, because high blood sugar in the body has developed neuropathy in the feet, which means the person has lost all feeling in their feet, so pain is not generally something the person will feel," said Dr. Blanco. "Often times, the first thing people may notice is drainage in their sock. Redness and swelling may also be indicators of a forthcoming ulcer. And, if it has developed extensively, then the person may also notice an odor coming from the bottom of the foot."

According to the American Diabetes Association, younger people are being affected by diabetes, but because they see no physical damage to their feet or body, or experience any physical pain, they do not take the illness serious. The association is encouraging those with a family history of diabetes, to incorporate a daily routine of physical activity, such as walking, and, eating healthier. This they say will help reduce the risks of diabetes.

"The Doc Talk Lecture at Harlingen Medical Center is an excellent opportunity to educate our community about diabetic foot ulcers, and, more importantly, how to prevent and/or treat one," said Dr. Blanco. "An educated person always has the opportunity to make the right choices for themselves and their loved ones. That's why this presentation is important."

"Education and treatment options are always available at the Wound Healing Center at Harlingen Medical Center," said Mary Wallace, RN and Director of the Wound Healing Center at Harlingen Medical Center. "We have an excellent team of foot care specialists, from our physicians and registered nurses to our support staff. We have a highly experienced team that will customize a treatment for any patient who comes in our doors."

According to Dr. Blanco, the main goal with diabetic foot ulcers is to achieve healing as soon as possible. The more efficiently and effectively the wound heals, the more likeliness it will not develop an infection.

Proper diabetic foot ulcer treatments include:

  • Prevention of infection
  • Releasing pressure from the affected area
  • Removing dead skin and tissue from the affected area, known as "debridement"
  • Applying medication or dressings to the affected area
  • Managing high blood sugar and any other medical conditions that breed foot ulcers

"People who notice a foot ulcer, especially those with diabetes, should see a podiatrist immediately," said Dr. Blanco. "Foot ulcers should be treated immediately to reduce the risks of infections developing, an amputation occurring, improving function of the foot and improving the quality of life for the patient."

All of which can be done with a visit to the Wound Healing Center at Harlingen Medical Center. Some of the treatments and services offered at the center include:

  • Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Therapy
  • Skin Substitute / Graft Applications
  • Vascular Evaluation
  • Laboratory Evaluation
  • Nutritional Management
  • Pain Management
  • Diabetic Education
  • Radiology
  • Debridement

According to Wallace, one of the most effective clinical tools and advanced technology the Wound Healing Center has to offer is the Sechrist H-Model Pneumatic Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber. They are highly effective in the healing process of patients who suffer from problematic wounds. They are designed to deliver 100% pure oxygen at two atmospheres of pressure to the patient, which in turn improve the delivery of blood throughout the patient's body. This delivery of blood is what helps improve the healing process for patients; more specifically the healing of problematic wounds.

Wallace points out that it is important to understand that the benefits of HBO treatments come from the oxygen enriched bloodstream and not from the oxygen's direct contact with wounds. HBO treatments greatly increases the amount of oxygen delivered to body tissues by your blood.

To learn more about the Wound Healing Center at Harlingen Medical Center and its services, please call (956) 365-1022, or visit www.harlingenmedicalcenter.com.

To register for the Doc Talk Lecture with Dr. Blanco, please call (956) 365-1848 at the Marketing Department.

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