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, heÛªs received several treatments, including VAC therapyÛÓtwice, as well as several commonly-used specialty dressingsÛÓ and none of them have helped heal his wound.
After months of seeing no significant signs of improvement, staff members at Flushing HospitalÛªs Wound Care Center collaboratively decided to use honey to heal his woundÛÓa decision thatÛªs proving to be a sweet success.
Flushing HospitalÛªs Wound Care Center began using the honey-based dressing, called MediHoneyã¢, on Albrecht in December. Since applying MediHoney his wound has improved significantly.
ÛÏIn our observation, the honey dressing tends to work better on deeper cavities than superficial wounds and therefore, is working especially well for Frank,Û said Dr. Roberto Cantu, General Surgeon at Flushing Hospital. ÛÏThis is truly the most improvement weÛªve seen in him in such a short period of time.Û
MediHoneyã¢ 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.
AlbrechtÛªs 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.
ÛÏThe honey dressing is working very well and IÛªm very pleased with my improvement,Û said Albrecht. ÛÏItÛªs healing slowly but at least itÛªs healing.Û
Martiza Rao, Clinical Nurse Manager at Flushing HospitalÛªs Wound Care Center, states that MediHoney works well for patients with ÛÏweeping woundsÛÛÓ 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 individualsÛª 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.
ÛÏSince its recent approval, IÛªm sure weÛªll see a lot more hospitals using this approach,Û predicted Rao. ÛÏMediHoney is gentle and benign and is natureÛªs way of healing you.Û
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 HospitalÛªs Wound Care Center, contact 718-670-4542.
MediHoneyã¢ 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 hospitalÛªs 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.