The need for wound care in South Africa has seen a significant increase.
According to the provincial health department, the need for chronic wound care at the Lotus River Community Day Centre (CDC) increased drastically, from staff treating nine patients with chronic ulcers a month in 2014 to 550 patients a month.
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 CDC between 2014 and 2016, with approximately 90 percent of the patients showing signs of improvement within just six months after starting treatment. More than 50 percent of patients were completely healed of their chronic ulcers.
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 went to the Lotus River CDC for treatment, and was put on the CWC treatment plan by one of the facility’s doctors.
“I am very happy I started this treatment plan. My wound took about six months to heal. I am impressed with the management of my wound at the facility,” said Mr Slinger.
Untreated chronic wounds could lead to serious infections and even the loss of the limb.
The reputation of the successful service provided at the CWC Club has led to other healthcare facilities such as Groote Schuur and Victoria hospitals referring patients to be placed on the CWC system at Lotus River CDC.
Sister Gaironesa Jones, facility manager of the CDC, said the im-provement of the system has led Lotus River CDC to align itself with the Department’s Healthcare 2030 strategy for a continuous improvement and change in the patient experience.
“We want to provide quality and integrated health services on a sustainable basis,” she said.
“By incorporating the department’s values and looking at improving the quality of life for patients with chronic wounds, we commenced by photographically recording each visit with the patient’s permission, and dressing and monitoring the wound on a weekly basis, as well as ensuring that the patient adhered to the ap-pointment given,” added Sister J ones.
The facility also received an Innovation Award from the Department in April 2016 for implementing the CWC treatment system, and won third place in the overall provincial Department of Health iC2AIR2 Awards last month.