CHICAGO, April 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The patients most vulnerable to contract the coronavirus, are the same group that suffer from chronic, non-healing wounds. Hospitals overwhelmed with both COVID and rule out COVID cases had to make broad policies that either closed or greatly reduced outpatient services. Service lines were either deemed "essential" or "non-essential". Wound care suffers from the fact that most providers have little to no exposure to wound clinics and limited education on wound care during their training. The field also has not achieved specialty status by the governing bodies of medical education and certifying bodies, further limiting most hospital administrations from understanding the potential complications that could arise without consistent, ongoing medical management of these patients. For example, patients with non-healing wounds are 20 times more likely to need inpatient care or to visit the Emergency Room. Neither of those sites of care can be considered safe for these compromised patients during this pandemic. There are an estimated 6.7 million patients that suffer with non-healing wounds and they are at risk for cellulitis, limb loss, sepsis and deterioration of their wounds. The American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair, a not for profit 501c3 organization, has posted a position paper on this subject. https://acwound.org/college/index.php.html
The paper describes the complexity of wound care patients, the unintended consequences of decreasing necessary medical care during the pandemic, and potential solutions, such as telemedicine that can provide a "bridge" between face to face visits for these patients. Dr. William J. Ennis, President of the College and a Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois Chicago state "We need to be able to use technology such as telemedicine to triage cases that need to be seen face to face and manage some cases virtually during this pandemic and likely into the next several months." The position paper proposes solutions, recognizes the amazing care being rendered by healthcare professionals treating COVID patients and restates the mission of the college which is to create specialty status for wound care. The final sentence tells it all, "Wound care matters…..Wound care is essential…. Wound care IS a specialty."
SOURCE American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair