LOUISVILLE, Ky. — About 154,000 people with Type 2 diabetes experience a limb amputation in the U.S. every year according to the American Diabetes Association. UofL Health is working to decrease this number thanks to their new wound care center. 

What You Need To Know

  • UofL Health Mary and Elizabeth Hospital is opening a wound care facility

  • They will be able to treat about 20 to 25 patients a day 

  • The facility will have two hyperbaric chambers to help increase blood supply and oxygen to the wound

  • Mary and Elizabeth Hospital has been opened for 150 years 

Health care workers, like registered nurse Whitney Van Winkle, are preparing to treat their first patients tomorrow at the UofL Health’s Mary and Elizabeth Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center. 

The facility will treat about 20 to 25 patients a day, including those who have experienced traumatic injuries, surgical wounds and who have diabetes.

The center helps to prevent amputations, which can result from some wounds diabetic patients may experience.

“We’ll have patients that come to us because it’s their last resort, you know, they want a second opinion. They’ll go to the doctor and they’ll say, ‘Well, your only option is for an amputation.’ So they’ll come to us and we will heal these things that I never thought in a million years we’d be able to heal and save their leg and totally heal the wounds,” Van Winkle says. 

The center has two hyperbaric chambers which increase blood supply and oxygen to the wound. 

“People with necrotizing fasciitis, which is a bacterial infection caused by the flesh-eating bacteria, usually Clostridium, this helps kill it. It does not like oxygen, so you put oxygen to it, stops it. So another way to treat specific bad wounds and bad bacterial infection,” explained Dr. Timothy Ford with the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Department of Orthopedics. 

Van Winkle says the 2,600-square-foot facility will provide care for patients who live closer to the facility. 

“A lot of our patients, you know, unfortunately will miss appointments because of transportation barriers and things like that. And there’s really not any sort of an advanced wound care clinic in this area. So we see we’re almost full and we start tomorrow.”

Mary and Elizabeth Hospital has been open for 150 years. 

UofL Health is opening a community pharmacy and has announced the return of labor and delivery services in south Louisville, scheduled to open in 2025.