Butte's St. James Hospital holds Wound Care Awareness Week


BUTTE, Mont. - It's Wound Care Awareness Week at St. James Hospital in Butte, a time of year where doctors, patients and nurses help raise awareness of chronic wounds.

Dr. James Aufiero, the medical director at St. James Wound Care Center, says the most common wounds treated in Butte are ulcers in the feet, arteries, veins and hard pressures on the skin.

He says 30 percent of chronic leg wounds left untreated result in amputation. Some 50 percent of patients who have an amputation will die within five years.

Aufiero urges patients who have concerns to visit the wound center for a prescribed treatment plan.

"When a patient has a wound like this it takes up their whole life. It becomes all-encompassing," Aufiero said.

Brad Loewen, a patient of Aufiero's, is happy with his treatment and his doctors at the St. James Wound Care Center.

"I've taken the treatment, came up here to Butte and got one full treatment," he said. "When you have nowhere else to go, when you're at the end of the road, I mean, that's it."

According to St. James Hospital chronic wounds are most apparent in the elderly and tend to increase with conditions like diabetes and obesity.

It's estimated chronic wounds affect over 6.5 million people in the United States.