• News banner
  • Patient receives sweet treatment from Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care

    A scraped shin may not seem like much of a problem for many people, but for 90-year-old Lillie Esposito such an injury required some unique and special care from the wound experts at Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care.

    “I tripped and fell coming up my back steps,” Lillie said.  “The skin was broken in two places and it bled badly because I take an aspirin every day.  I finally got the bleeding stopped and I put a Band-Aid on it, but after a few days it started getting really red and was not healing.”

    When two weeks had passed and her leg injury continued to worsen, Lillie went to see her doctor, Dr. Bruce Slagle, at Rome Medical Group.  After more than a week of treatment without much healing, Dr. Slagle suggested that Lillie’s wound needed the kind of advanced treatment offered at the wound center. 

    Sharon Dombrowski, nurse practitioner at the Regional Center for Wound Care, urges patients to seek medical care from their regular doctor when any wound is not improving over time.  “The Regional Center for Wound Care is not an emergency wound care center,” she explained.  “We take referrals.  If a wound is emergent, meaning it has increased in drainage or has foul smelling drainage, redness, swelling or pain, patients need to go to the emergency room at the hospital or see their family physician that day.”

    “I’m so glad I went,” Lillie said of her referral to the wound center.  “I was very pleased with the treatment I received at the wound center and the results.  My leg got better.  It took five weeks, but each week they would measure the wound to see if it was getting smaller and each week it was.”

    Lillie expressed how much she appreciated the doctors and staff at the wound center and how “sweetly” they treated her.  Even the treatment itself was sweet, because the method used to heal Lillie’s wound involved a kind of honey.

    “They put honey into it,” Lillie explained about the treatment.  “They cut a piece of this honey the size of the wound and put it into the open area.  Then they put a compression bandage on it.”

    “The honey Lillie is talking about is a sterile honey called medihoney,” explained Dombrowski.   “It comes from New Zealand and has a high percentage of active leptospermum honey, which possesses unique qualities that make it a treatment option to manage chronic and acute wounds.  We also used Acticoat, a silver product, and compression on Lillie.”

    Lillie’s treatment began with wound debridement by Robert Pickels, M.D.  This is a process of removing dead tissue from the wound.  Although that part of the treatment was not so sweet, Lillie said the doctor used some numbing medication to make it bearable.

    “I went back to the wound center every week for five weeks,” Lillie said.  “Each week it got better and better and little by little it healed.  I would recommend to anyone that has a wound that will not heal to not wait.  If nothing else works, go to the wound center.  They have lots of ways to treat wounds and heal them.”

    “A patient can come to the wound care center when a wound has not improved or healed in four weeks,” Dombrowski explained.  “We are an advanced wound care center which means that we see wounds for advanced treatment.  So when conventional treatments don’t work, we have advanced products to heal non-healing wounds.”

    The Regional Center for Wound Care provides many types of advanced wound care services for problem wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and non-healing surgical wounds.  Treatment options available include debridement, topical wound therapy, tissue therapy and negative pressure wound therapy.  

    In addition, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is now available. About 20 percent of wound care patients are candidates for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which works by increasing the amount of oxygen the blood can carry to promote healing and fight infection.  The center has two hyperbaric chambers where patients can pass the time watching television while receiving treatment.

    In addition to Dombrowski and Dr. Pickels, the center is staffed by Medical Director Nicholas Peters, M.D., Paul Davidson, M.D., and Leo Sullivan, M.D., to provide physician coverage every weekday.

    The Regional Center for Wound Care is located at 267 Hill Road, which can be accessed by turning on Avery between AmeriCU and the Griffiss traffic circle.  For more information, please call (315) 338-7540.