A local not-for-profit health and aged care organisation that provides the largest wound care service in Australia treated more than 33,000 wound cases last year.
One of those cases involved a 75-year-old Beckenham resident who said the nurses who have been treating her have become more like family members.
For more than three years Carol Leach has been treated by her local Silver Chain for two ulcers in her legs.
It all started four years ago, with a small vein in her right ankle that burst and eventually developed into a leg ulcer.
“I went to a vascular surgeon who said the small vein would heal, but it didn’t,” she said.
“Then last year, I developed a leg ulcer.
“The pain was so intense it stopped me from sleeping.”
Carol suffers from an allergic autoimmune disorder, causing her to experience reactions to some wound dressings.
She is also unable to wear pressure bandages due to her nerve pain.
“Silver Chain helped me, they did their research and started treating me with manuka honey with gauze, before moving to a collagen-based dressing,” she said.
“I’ve been attending three sessions a week for the past years and from this week I will only have to go twice a week and we will have to wait and see my progress.
“Some of these sessions can be a bit painful but with no pain, there is no gain.
“I see the girls treating me and supporting me so often that they have now become a bit like family.
Silverchain Nurse practitioner Pam Morey said chronic wounds have an enormous impact on people’s quality of life and sense of wellbeing.
“They can be painful and even having a shower means they may have to cover a leg ulcer with a plastic bag,” she said.
“Leaking wounds and odours cause problems and embarrassment.
“On each visit, our nurses collect information about their assessment and management of their client’s wound.
“This data is collected on smartphones and entered into our specialised wound module, which allows us to monitor healing progress and benchmark our wound healing outcomes.”