Wound treatment clinic provides valuable service

Located at The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) General campus is one of the busiest Wound Treatment Clinics in Canada. It is housed in a small room barely large enough for one nurse, one patient and a treatment stretcher, yet it serves as the sole provider of the Central East LHIN’s formal wound treatment program, seeing 5,000 patients a year.“Right now, we don’t have a lot of room, but we treat specialized, difficult-to-heal wounds,” explains Jacqueline Baptiste-Savoie, a wound, skin and ostomy specialist and Certified Enterostomal Nurse in TSH’s Wound Clinic. “If we had a larger clinic, we could see far more patients.”The demand for specialized wound treatment is growing due to an aging population and an increase in certain chronic diseases. This is particularly the case in Scarborough, home to a large ethnic population, some of whom have higher-than-average incidents of diabetes and certain cancers. TSH’s vision to be recognized as a leader in providing healthcare for a global community is being tested as the number of patients seeking the services of the Wound Clinic in Scarborough is expected to double in 10 years.“We’re treating more diabetic feet, and because we’re so diverse in Scarborough, we definitely have a long way to go to educate our diverse population about prevention, or to seek intervention sooner,” Jacqueline says. “Early intervention can save a lot of limbs.“We’re also seeing a lot of undiagnosed skin tumours, a lot of cancers, and finding lesions in places we’ve never seen before. For example, we’re finding a lot of women of a certain age with lesions below their ankle. Looking back, we recognize that these women often wore long skirts that came to their ankles, so the skin below the ankles is exposed to the sun.”For patient Ashok Kumar, the TSH Wound Clinic has provided him with excellent care in treating a cancer-related wound.“I live in Ajax, but I travel to The Scarborough Hospital’s Oncology Clinic. I recently noticed a wound on my leg, and my family doctor suggested I ask my oncologist (Dr. Henry Krieger) to refer me to the Wound Clinic,” Ashok explains. “Jackie came to the Oncology Clinic right away and looked at my wound and found that the problem was water retention due to the cancer medications I’m taking. She bandaged it and placed a compression on top; Dr. Krieger put me on additional and different water pill medication, and now, the wound is starting to heal.”Ashok believes the Wound Clinic provides a valuable service, and finds Jacqueline to be “a very caring, competent and knowledgeable person.”“We can expand. We have the personnel, including a large contingent of Plastic Surgeons, one of the largest chronic kidney programs in the country, a great diabetes education program, advanced trained nurses, a good vascular program, and a great orthopaedic program,” Jacqueline explains. “TSH has all these great programs and people, and when you bring them all together, we provide comprehensive holistic care.”Plastic Surgeon Dr. Timothy Sproule agrees. “We are in a unique position to provide this service at TSH because we have the largest concentration of plastic surgeons of any hospital in Canada,” Dr. Sproule says. “We also have nurses who are highly trained in this specialized area of wound care.”An RN for 23 years, Jacqueline’s previous position at University Health Network provided her with the opportunity to work alongside renowned surgeons.“I’m not easily intimidated. For me, it’s all about patient care and positive outcomes,” she adds. “At the end of the day, if a patient is happy with the treatment and care they received, and the outcomes are going just the way they want, I’m happy.”