Blackmond N, Provencher E, Provencher S, Zoma M, Goodman BD, and Silverman A. Complicated Open Wound Management in a Free Clinic Setting. Cureus 2022; 14(7):e26605.
Wound healing is a complex and integrated process that involves several interdependent overlapping stages, including hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and vascularization. Cellulitis and skin abscesses are among the most common skin and soft tissue infections. Cellulitis typically involves the deeper dermis of subcutaneous fat and tends to have a more indolent course with the development of localized symptoms over a few days. Skin abscesses are described as a collection of pus within the dermis or subcutaneous space. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the leading cause of impaired wound healing and consequently has higher rates of patients developing soft tissue infections. Diabetic patients experience decreased early inflammatory cell infiltration but increased numbers of neutrophils and macrophages. Complications include bacteremia, metastatic infection, sepsis, and toxic shock syndrome. In this case, we describe a 50-year-old Caucasian uninsured male who was referred to the Gary Burnstein Clinic (GBC) from a nearby hospital for wound management after an incision and drainage of a large back abscess and uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The patient presented with a large erythematous, indurated lesion with a cruciate incision that spanned from his mid-thoracic spine to the medial border of his left scapula. The wound management course required strict follow-up to the clinic every 48-72 hours for debridement and monitoring. This was complicated by the GBC's limited resources along with the volunteer nurses' and physicians' availability. To avoid the patient being lost to follow-up, shared decision-making was utilized to create a schedule that was advantageous for both the patient and the clinic. Ultimately, the patient made a full recovery without any adverse events. This case highlights the gaps in care for the medically uninsured. We also showcase the passion and dedication our medical volunteers exhibit to care for the community. The GBC provides high-quality healthcare to bridge gaps in access to care by offering broad specialist access while ensuring continuity of care.