Hospital-Based Wound Center Saves Patient from Amputation

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PERTH AMBOY–The 10-day vacation began innocently enough for Robert Murray, but when he returned with foot blisters that later developed into non-healing wounds that he was told could only be treated by amputation, he turned to the Center for Wound Healing at Raritan Bay Medical Center. There he received treatments for his wounds that alleviated the need for amputation.

Robert and his wife Paula visited their daughter Shanna in Florida last summer, where she was enrolled in the Disney College Program and working at Disney World in Orlando. “Shanna is working towards a degree in hospitality management at Middlesex County College and jumped at the chance to intern for eight months at the world-renowned tourist attraction,” said Robert.

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“My wife and I thought this trip would be a great way to enjoy some sunny weather and spend some time with Shanna.” The Old Bridge residents had a great time on the trip and during the last days they decided to visit a water park to help cool off from the heat. “While we were at the park I lost my water shoes in Typhoon Lagoon, I had to go the rest of the day barefoot,” said Robert. “That night my feet were pretty beat up and blistered. So, I cleaned them and bandaged some of the larger blisters and we returned home a few days later.”

Unfortunately over the next few weeks the blisters developed into wounds, and despite continuous treatment from his podiatrist and Robert’s best efforts, they would not heal and soon looked like they had become infected. He made an appointment with a local physician, who discovered he had developed an infection and prescribed a six-week course of daily IV antibiotic therapy at Raritan Bay Medical Center’s (RBMC) Medical Day Stay Unit at Old Bridge.

“After a couple weeks of IV therapy my wounds were not responding and my doctor was afraid that my toe would have to be amputated to stop the infection,” said Robert. “But, the nurse who was taking care of my therapy suggested I contact the medical center’s Center for Wound Healing to see if I was a candidate for their services.”

The Center’s clinical staff develops individualized treatment plans for each patient to prevent lasting, painful and debilitating wounds through a variety of treatment methods, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HbOT). HbOT is used to heal wounds by placing a patient in a high pressure, high oxygen environment. “Robert was understandably scared when he was told by multiple physicians that amputation was his only option,” said the Center for Wound Healing’s John Kramer, DPM. “Unfortunately, Robert’s condition is far too common. Thankfully, we have the knowledge and resources to turn what is often a negative outcome into a positive one.”

Upon his initial evaluation of Robert, Dr. Kramer believed amputation wouldn’t be necessary, so he continued his IV therapy, began traditional wound care treatment and HbOT therapy. Robert followed the prescribed combination of therapies unfailingly and within the first two weeks his foot greatly improved. Dr. Kramer then confirmed his initial evaluation; amputation was not necessary.

“I’m very grateful for the care I received from the RBMC’s nurses and especially from Dr. Kramer. I was very upset when I learned that I may have to have my toe or maybe even my foot amputated. But the staff’s positive and encouraging attitude put me at ease and the excellent treatment I received removed the possibility of amputation,” said Robert. “I recommend the center to anyone with any stubborn wounds.”

For more information about RBMC’s wound healing services, visit http://www.rbmc.org/medical-services/center-for-wound-healing/. The center is currently being expanded and renovated and will celebrate a grand re-opening in the Fall.


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