Morad Awadallah, MD, Medical Director, Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital
Why are you passionate about wound healing?
Wound healing is one of those disease processes that runs the whole gamut from a patient experience perspective. You can have lesion wounds that really affect the quality of life for the patient, preventing them from doing seemingly trivial things, such as bathing or swimming in the ocean. There are also wounds that can imminently threaten limb and life. That spectrum of disease process is what attracts me to it. It tends to be a specialty or sub-specialty where patients are very compliant with the treatment regimen, and when they’re efficient the outcome is good.
Why is wound care essential?
Wound care is essential because when done inappropriately or not done at all, a relatively trivial matter that starts with straightforward results can progress to something that can threaten your life or your limb, and that can happen very precipitously. We don’t have the luxury when dealing with open wounds to defer addressing them for weeks or even months at a time.
How is a wound care center different than going to your doctor’s office for treatment? When is it necessary?
A wound care center is more akin to an ambulatory surgical center, where there is relatively advanced treatment modalities taking place. The rooms are situated to allow for minor surgical procedures in a safe, sterile, efficient and effective environment. It’s very different than going to a doctor’s office from that perspective. Patients that are coming to a wound care center are coming for advanced treatment modalities. Usually, the diagnosis and the treatment regimen all happen concurrently, and in real time, on the spot and that’s something I think that’s unique to the wound care center.
What sets your center apart?
Our wound care center is truly multidisciplinary. It is centered around vascular surgery, but we also have general surgeons, podiatrists and plastic surgeons to tailor the patient experience. In terms of having a multidisciplinary approach—our team is as multidisciplinary as it comes. We are also one of the only centers that uses full-time experienced nurse practitioners, and these are exclusive. There is never a circumstance in the center where there isn’t someone on-hand immediately to deal with problems as they arise.
How would your team describe you?
They would describe me as very involved, relatively hyper, with a good work ethic and someone who really cares about the outcomes of patients.
What types of patients can benefit most from the expertise you provide?
My particular expertise is in vascular surgery, so any patients with non-healing wounds as the result of a vascular compromise—be it arterial or venous compromise—are the ones who would benefit most directly from skill set.
Are there any success stories that really stand out to you?
Almost 95% of our patients result in wound healing, so every one of them is considered a success.