Every year nearly 5 million Americans suffer from wounds that will not heal. Now there's a new clinic in town to help heal them.

Dr. Devang Desai took the lead opening the Saint Mary's Center for Limb Preservation and Wound Care. He's taking your questions between 5-6pm. To speak with him, dial 775-858-2222. For future questions, call Saint Mary's at 775-770-6230.

What causes wounds and why is it so important for proper wound care?

Wounds occur when the skin is broken or damaged because of injury. Every year between four and five million Americans suffer from chronic non-healing wounds, many caused by diabetes, poor circulation, pressure ulcers or other conditions. Proper wound care is necessary to prevent infection, assure there are no other associated injuries, and to promote healing of the skin.

When should someone seek medical attention for their wound?
One should seek medical attention if their wound is non-healing. Other reasons medical attention should be obtained include:

•    If the wound is due to significant force or trauma
•    If bleeding cannot be stopped even with persistent pressure and elevation
•    If the wound is caused by an animal or human bite
•    If there is evidence of infection including redness, swelling, increased pain, and pus at the wound

What can be done at home for the proper healing of wounds?
If you have a wound, no matter how small, take the following steps to avoid infection and promote healing:

•    Take care of the wound immediately. Even a minor wound can become infected if bacteria are allowed to build up after injury.
•    Clean the wound. Rinse the wound under running water to remove dirt. Don't use soap, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine, which can irritate the injury. Then apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection, and cover the wound with a sterile bandage. Change the bandage daily, and use soap to clean the skin around the wound. Inspect your wound daily for any signs of infection.
•    Keep pressure off the wound as it heals

For more serious non-healing wounds, Saint Mary's Center for Limb Preservation and Wound Care offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy. What is this and why is it beneficial for patients?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that boosts the healing process by breathing 100% pure pressurized oxygen intermittently while inside a hyperbaric chamber. This allows the healing time to be significantly decreased. The increased oxygen also enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria and reduce swelling. It is a painless, non-invasive treatment.

Please visit saintmarysreno.com or call 775-770-6230 for more information.