Patient’s Life-threatening Wound Heals with Nurses’ Care and Advanced Treatments
Faith Blatt, RN, and Charles LaBella
Charles LaBella won’t even glance at the wound that nearly took his life.
So he chuckles a bit when his nurse from VNA Care Network & Hospice tells him “it looks fabulous. I’m saying, ‘A wound looks fabulous?’ The nurses get so excited (to see how well it’s healing),” said Charles.
His story sounds like something from a prime-time medical drama. He saw what looked like a pimple on his skin and didn’t give it a second thought. By the next night, Charles was being taken by helicopter from Newburyport to a Boston hospital where he was fighting for his life.
Charles had a very rare bacterial infection. Doctors operated immediately, and Charles spent the next few days in and out of a medically induced coma. He suffered a heart attack during the coma, and, after regaining consciousness, went through surgery to repair a tear in his esophagus.
Nearly two weeks later, he was able to return to his Salisbury home with the support of his wife, Priscilla, and the care of VNA Care Network & Hospice’s home health team.
“It felt great coming home,” said Charles. Pictures of his family line the windowsill. A box of get well cards drawn in crayon by the first graders at Newbury Elementary School, where Charles is an instructional assistant, sits nearby.
VNA Care Network & Hospice’s Wound Care Program uses advanced technologies and treatments and a holistic approach to help patients with complex wounds regain their health. Patients receive a consultation by a Certified Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse (CWOCN) who develops comprehensive treatment plans in collaboration with patients’ physicians.
Faith Blatt, RN, is one of the nurses who cares for Charles at home. Her visit involves checking the wound and the portable wound vacuum assisted closure (VAC) device that can help patients heal faster and decrease their risk of infection. There’s time for Faith to answer his questions, including how documenting the visit in an electronic medical record helps her coordinate his care with others on the home health care team.
Charles said he’s impressed by all of the clinicians’ knowledge, professionalism, and dedication to their patients. “It’s not just a job for them. They are really concerned about me, and I feel that,” he said.
With his wound nearly healed, Charles knows he won’t need the nurses’ visits much longer. He added, “They’re special people to me. I will probably hate to see them go.”
For more information about home health care services, call VNA Care Network & Hospice at 800-728-1862 or e-mail email@example.com. For TTY access, call 508-751-6926.
Posted: Jan. 31, 2012