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FirstHealth Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center uses honey to treat wounds

| Date Posted: 11/1/2010

PINEHURST – A new innovation in wound care treatment didn’t originate in a lab but with the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

Wound experts at the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center have begun to use a specialized medical grade honey product for chronic and acute wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers. The idea is 5,000 years old and came from Egyptian and Greek civilizations, which were known to use honey for wound care.

Testing has revealed that honey contains antibacterial agents and that leptospermum honey yields more antibacterial activity than honey from other sources. Modern-day wound dressings contain active leptospermum honey – a honey unique to New Zealand and Australia – which has beneficial plant-derived properties.

“In addition to reducing bacteria, the honey-treated dressings keep wounds moist and enable the removal of unhealthy tissue near the wound site,” says David Strom, M.D. “The effects of the dressing last up to a week, reducing the need for more frequent visits to the Wound Care Center.”

Dr. Strom, an orthopaedic surgeon with Pinehurst Surgical, serves as medical director of the FirstHealth Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center at Moore Regional Hospital.

Several large randomized controlled studies have shown medical grade honey dressings to be effective on difficult-to-heal wounds. In most cases, honey is used when conventional antibacterial treatments with antibiotics and antiseptics are ineffective.

Inflammation, swelling and pain rapidly subside; and unpleasant odors stop. In addition, debridement (dead tissue removal) is enhanced as the honey dressings remove tissue painlessly and without causing damage to re-growing cells.

Medical grade honey dressings are among a number of highly specialized wound care methodologies and treatments that are offered at Moore Regional’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center. Others include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered tissue, biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies. 

Chronic wounds are wounds that have not healed or responded to treatment within 30 days. Factors affecting underlying causes of slow-to-heal wounds include diabetes, high blood pressure, age, obesity and vascular disease.

Cancer survivors who have had radiation treatment are also susceptible to wounds that are slow to heal.

For more information on the treatment of chronic or infected wounds, contact FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center at (910) 715-5901.

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