PLYMOUTH — The Wound Care Center at Speare Memorial Hospital is raising awareness of diabetes-related wounds as part of the Healogics 8th annual Diabetes Awareness Campaign.

Throughout November, the Wound Care Center at Speare Memorial Hospital will educate the local community about the importance of awareness, early intervention and specialized care for diabetes-related chronic wounds, like diabetic foot ulcers. Local team members will also visit healthcare providers in surrounding areas to provide important information to help at-risk patients living with diabetes. These resources include the 2021 Diabetes Awareness Infographic and posters designed to encourage patients to take off their socks and shoes for foot exams at every appointment.

There are 34.2 million people in the United States currently living with diabetes. And, diabetes-related wounds are a leading cause of limb loss, accounting for 65,000 amputations annually. Early detection and specialized care from a Wound Care Center can reduce healing times and significantly reduce the risk of amputation.

Risk factors for diabetes include age, diet, activity level, obesity and heredity. Factors that may increase the risks of developing a chronic wound, such as a diabetic foot ulcer, include high blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune system issues and nerve damage.

The Wound Care Center at Speare Memorial Hospital recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:

• Stop smoking immediately

• Comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times a year)

• Examine your feet every day or have a family member inspect them

• Take good care of your feet and clean your toenails

• See your healthcare provider to care for corns and calluses

• Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)

• Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising regularly

Contact the Wound Care Center at Speare Memorial Hospital to learn more about diabetic foot ulcers or if you have a wound that will not heal. To schedule an appointment, call 603-481-8780 or visit spearehospital.com/wound-care-hyperbaric-medicine/.

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