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2010-12-07 10:06:12
Flushing Hospital Makes Healing a Sweet Deal by Using Honey for Wound Care
Contact Information:
Natifia Gaines
(718) 206-6020

March 24, 2008 (Flushing, NY)-- Frank Albrecht has had a stubborn, non-healing surgical wound on his right buttock for nearly two years. In that time, he’s received several treatments, including VAC therapy—twice, as well as several commonly-used specialty dressings— and none of them have helped heal his wound.

After months of seeing no significant signs of improvement, staff members at Flushing Hospital’s Wound Care Center collaboratively decided to use honey to heal his wound—a decision that’s proving to be a sweet success.

Flushing Hospital’s Wound Care Center began using the honey-based dressing, called MediHoney™, on Albrecht in December. Since applying MediHoney his wound has improved significantly.

“In our observation, the honey dressing tends to work better on deeper cavities than superficial wounds and therefore, is working especially well for Frank,” said Dr. Roberto Cantu, General Surgeon at Flushing Hospital. “This is truly the most improvement we’ve seen in him in such a short period of time.”

MediHoney™ is said to work primarily because of its natural healing properties. It is made from various honeys found in New Zealand and Australia, including manuka honey, which speeds healing and kills germs. In addition to being antimicrobial and fluid absorbing, it also helps dissolve dead tissue, reduces inflammation and helps eliminate odors associated with infected wounds. The effects are long-lasting.

Albrecht’s scheduled follow up appointments at the Wound Care Center are every two to three weeks. At home, and with the help of visiting nurses, he applies the honey-based dressing to his wound daily, once a day.

“The honey dressing is working very well and I’m very pleased with my improvement,” said Albrecht. “It’s healing slowly but at least it’s healing.”

Martiza Rao, Clinical Nurse Manager at Flushing Hospital’s Wound Care Center, states that MediHoney works well for patients with “weeping wounds”— pressure ulcers, open wounds, chronic infections, wounds as a result of radiation, and wound dehiscence; adding that the honey-dressing does not work well and should be avoided by patients who are allergic to bees or who have dry wounds.

As effective as honey has proven to be, the concept is not new.

Using honey to treat wounds began over 4,000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians. They treated scrapes and cuts with honey as a way to kill bacteria, prevent bacteria growth, and ultimately heal individuals’ wounds.

Honey-based dressings have been popular in New Zealand, Austraila, and Europe for years but were recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Since its recent approval, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more hospitals using this approach,” predicted Rao. “MediHoney is gentle and benign and is nature’s way of healing you.”

Flushing Hospital is currently treating four patients with MediHoney. Other services offered by the recently expanded and now six-bed outpatient center, include specialty dressings, V.A.C. therapy, evaluation for and referral to hyperbaric unit if needed, home care services, advanced therapies, educational materials, and one-on-one doctor/patient assessment. For additional information on the use of honey dressings or any other services at Flushing Hospital’s Wound Care Center, contact 718-670-4542.

MediHoney™ is the first honey-based product cleared for use by Health Canada and also the first cleared for use by the U.S. FDA. These unique dressings contain Active Leptospermum Honey, indigenous to New Zealand (Manuka) and Australia (Jellybush). The dressings can be used in all phases of wound healing and could be considered a key dressing in any wound bed preparation protocol. These qualities can help to take much of the guesswork out of wound management.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center serves a community of over 1.9 million residents throughout Queens. This 293-bed facility is an accredited community teaching hospital that has over 40 general and specialty clinics. The hospital’s state-of-the-art Wound Care Center opened in 2006 as a way to provide multidisciplinary care to patients who suffer from chronic or non-healing wounds. Recently celebrating its second year and expansion, the Center is now a six-bed outpatient unit offering a variety of services. For additional information about the Wound Care Center, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.





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