Local clinic hastens wound healing with new tech | SkyHiNews.com

Local clinic hastens wound healing with new tech

Licensed practical nurse Lilliana Rivero treats a wound in the operating room. Middle Park Health's wound clinic, led by Rivero and Dr. Robert Ratcliff, is using cutting edge medical technology to help heal patients quicker.
Courtesy Middle Park Health

Middle Park Health’s wound care clinic is utilizing cutting edge technology to help patients heal quicker with less pain.

Led by Lilliana Rivero, licensed practical nurse in the specialty clinic, and Dr. Robert Ratcliff, general surgeon, the wound care clinic at the Granby campus helps patients with chronic and severe wounds, including diabetic ulcers.

The clinic started using EpiFix after Rivero attended a medical conference on wound care technology and realized Middle Park could be providing the same level of service to its patients and not have to send them to the Front Range.

“As we expand, that’s always in the back of our minds, to save that travel and have those services here in Grand County,” said Tiffany Freitag, a spokesperson for Middle Park Health.

EpiFix uses dehydrated amniotic tissue to form a skeleton for new tissue and skin to grow and closes the wound quicker than previous methods. The amniotic tissue comes from placenta, umbilical cords and amniotic membranes from consenting mothers following birth.

According to the manufacturer of EpiFix, patients on average require only two and a half applications of Epifix until their wound closes. EpiFix doesn’t need to be removed because it dissolves as the wound heals.

From his personal experience, Ratcliff said that he’s seen the EpiFix shave weeks off patients’ healing time and added that using the material has also cut down on pain. Prior to EpiFix, Ratcliff and other doctors were accustomed to packing wounds with wet gauze and replacing the gauze once it dried.

“You would physically rip the dressing out of the wound, which causes tremendous pain,” Ratcliff said. “(EpiFix) also has growth factors, which really accelerate the healing process.”

So far, Middle Park’s wound care clinic has used EpiFix on five patients, all with successful results. In addition to the EpiFix material, Middle Park Health is also using AmnioFill, a powder form of the material.

“It blows my mind sometimes how well it works,” Ratcliff said. “It can be applied to any wound, even though right now, we’re in the phase of just using it on chronic wounds.”

With the new technology, Middle Park is looking forward to the future of its wound care clinic.

“We have a variety of products that we use, so that patients only come in twice a week as opposed to (daily),” Rivero said.

Residents who are interested in making an appointment with the clinic do not need a referral and can call 970-887-5800.

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