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