Ripon MP Louise Staley is urging the local community to take care of chronic wounds before they become a problem.
Wound awareness week, which runs from 1 to 21 July, is an opportunity to raise awareness and remind the community of the importance of being wound aware.
Each year, around 420,000 people suffer from some kind of chronic wound. People struggle with pain as well as embarrassment, large treatment costs and being unable to enjoy normal work or social activities.
However, the vast majority don't have to suffer. If people are ‘wound aware’, they can spot the warning signs and understand that treatment is available.
“A chronic wound is a skin break that doesn't heal normally or without complications. If that happens to you or a family member, you must see a healthcare professional immediately,” Ms Staley said.
“If a chronic wound is not treated quickly and properly it could lead to severe illness, amputations and even death.”
According to Wounds Australia, you should take action if a wound:
- becomes red, swollen, hot or very painful
- bleeds regularly
- becomes black or yellow
- has a thick, yellowish fluid or unpleasant smell
- takes longer than a month to heal or has not decreased in size.
Ms Staley is encouraging locals to check in with older relatives because people over 65 are more likely to develop a chronic wound.
“As a community we tend not to talk about these types of medical concerns, but it’s important not to suffer in silence,” Ms Staley said.
If you think you might have a chronic wound you should make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible.
More information on Wound Awareness Week is at www.WoundAware.com.au