From accidental injuries to surgery recovery, South Shore Hospital is here to make sure your wounds heal as quickly as possible while managing your pain. Most people think of wounds as injuries like burns, cuts, or puncture wounds, but you can also have an ulcer from diabetes (foot sores) or need help healing your skin after getting sutures (stitches). Wound care is often necessary for your full healing process.
At South Shore Hospital, we offer both inpatient and outpatient wound care. Inpatient care involves staying in the hospital while you get better. Outpatient care means that our wound care nurse will send you home with instructions to follow.
Complete primary care services, from routine check-ups and preventive care at five affiliated neighborhood clinics and affiliated physicians.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider For A Wound
While minor wounds may heal on their own, some wounds need medical treatment to heal. You can always make an appointment if you are unsure, but here are some signs you need to see a healthcare provider.
Do I Need Wound Care?
- See a healthcare provider or go to the emergency room if your wound:
- Isn’t healing properly (e.g., won’t stop bleeding or wound is not healed after 6 weeks)
- Is in a dangerous location (e.g., near a major organ, such as the lungs)
- Is showing signs of infection (e.g., is red or swollen)
- Was caused by rusty or dirty equipment (e.g., a rusty tool)
- Is a severe wound (e.g., is gaping open or showing bone or muscle)
Wounds That Aren’t Healing Properly
Seek help if your wound hasn’t started healing after 2 weeks, hasn’t completely healed after 6 weeks, or won’t stop bleeding.
Wounds In A Dangerous Location
Wounds in some locations can be dangerous as they may harm vital organs or bleed too much. See a healthcare provider if the wound is near or on vital organs such as your kidney, heart, or lungs. If the wound is on your face, hands, or feet or near a joint, such as the wrist or knee, be sure to have a healthcare provider examine you. Wounds to these areas may damage nerves or cause permanent scarring, so proper and timely treatment is very important.
Wounds Showing Signs of Infection
Some wounds can become infected. If you are experiencing redness around the wound or a red streak coming from the wound, be sure to see a healthcare provider right away. Other signs of infection include pus, swelling, or a body temperature over 100°F.
Wounds From Dirty Equipment
If you were wounded on equipment that was rusty, dirty, or contaminated (such as a nail or screw), have a healthcare provider check the wound to make sure you don’t need a booster tetanus shot. Tetanus is a serious disease caused by bacteria that can enter the body during an injury. Most children in the US receive a five-dose vaccine as children, while adults should get a booster every 10 years.
If you have a severe wound, go to the emergency room. There are several types of severe wounds, and they should be treated immediately to prevent blood loss and infection.
Any wound that causes extreme pain or numbness
Puncture wounds, which are wounds caused by pointy objects that penetrate the skin
Wounds that are over a quarter-inch deep or long
Wounds that have a red streak coming from them
Emergency Wound Care
Wounds can be minor, like a scrape or cut you can bandage. Or, they can be more severe. Sometimes you may be unsure if a wound you have is serious enough to need care, and you may be tempted to put off treatment.
When in doubt, seek treatment right away. If you cannot schedule an appointment with a South Shore Hospital healthcare provider right away, call 911 or go to the emergency room for immediate care.
In case of an emergency, call 911 or visit South Shore Emergency care at:
8012 S Crandon Ave, Chicago, IL 60617
Wound Care At South Shore Hospital
South Shore Hospital wound experts treat a variety of wounds, such as surgical wounds and stitches, diabetic ulcers (sores on the feet people with diabetes sometimes get), pressure ulcers (bed sores that form from staying in one position too long), open wounds, and burns.
At South Shore, we are committed to promoting your healing with a treatment plan during your stay.
Our wound care team will:
- Examine your wound to make sure it isn’t too large
- Make sure your blood is flowing properly
- Find out why your wound isn’t healing
- Create a treatment plan
Your treatment goals may include:
- Healing your wound
- Preventing infection
- Preventing limb loss
- Reducing your pain
- Helping you maintain your mobility
How Our Wound Care Team Supports Your Healing Process At Home
It can be a relief to finally return home after surgery or a hospital stay. After surgery, a South Shore Hospital wound care nurse will provide the care and tools you need to recover fully.
Your wound care nurse will make sure that you understand any wound care instructions you may receive, such as how to change your wound dressings. Our healthcare providers will also make sure you can manage your pain while monitoring your healing. South Shore providers will also help you recognize any complications to tell your healthcare provider about.
Our team will make sure you feel confident to properly take care of your wound at home. You may feel worried about recovering from a wound, but South Shore Hospital’s wound care team will give you the tools you need to heal quickly while making sure we help keep you comfortable while you recover.
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