Last summer, Mark, a 52-year-old Bridge City resident and section manager at a rubber refinery, noticed a blister on his right big toe. Likely brought on by diabetes, which Mark has had for about five years, the blister eventually turned into an ulcer. Concerned, Mark saw his primary care physician, who referred him to the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Center Mid County in Port Arthur for evaluation and treatment by a skilled team of wound care professionals.
An Unexpected Complication
Open since April 2017, the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Center Mid County is a one-stop destination for a variety of services, including outpatient rehabilitation, emergency care, imaging, women’s care, and diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers and other wounds. For Mark, who first visited the center in early fall, treatment began with debridement — removal of dead and damaged tissue.
“When caring for a wound, we first evaluate the viability of the tissue and then debride any that isn’t functional,” says Roussel Clement, M.D., infusion clinic medical director at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Center Mid County.
“What’s left is healthy tissue that forms the foundation for the wound to heal.” Several more debridements followed. The steel-toe boots Mark has to wear on the job made healing difficult, Dr. Clement says, and that contributed to a complication: infection of the dime-sized wound.
Treatment on his Schedule
Mark needed antibiotic infusions to treat the infection, and he faced a choice: up to two weeks in the hospital or daily outpatient treatments at the center. He chose the latter.
“Five days a week for four weeks, I would go to work for a while, visit the center for about two hours of treatment and then go back to the refinery,” Mark says. “I was able to keep up with what was going on at work, which was nice.”
The staff went above and beyond to make the infusion experience a smooth one.
“Everyone I met was very helpful,” Mark says. “The staff members went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. The nurse who put in my peripherally inserted central catheter for the infusion even gave me her cell phone number and told me to call if I needed anything.”
The infusions did the trick: The infection cleared up, which paved the way for the wound to finish healing.