Sweet treat for Perth wound sufferer

Christine Mohr attests to the healing power of honey. Picture: David Baylis d494536
Christine Mohr attests to the healing power of honey. Picture: David Baylis d494536

A NOVEL treatment involving honey has helped a Perth grandmother get back on her feet after sustaining leg wounds.

Christine Mohr, 69, injured herself with a tree branch while gardening, with the wounds remaining three months after the incident.

“Usually if I cut myself, I apply antiseptic to the wound and it heals within a week or two,” the Padbury resident said. “But after several weeks, the wound was not healing.”

A vascular specialist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital referred Ms Mohr to Silver Chain’s Wound Care service to reduce pressure on hospital staff.

The retiree attended Silver Chain’s Kingsley clinic and received care from nurse practitioner Gordana Petkovska.

“Nothing was too much trouble for Gordana,” Ms Mohr said. “She never gave up on my wounds, and from the day she put honey on my leg, it started to heal.”

Wound specialist Keryln Carville, Professor Primary Health Care and Community Nursing, said honey had been used to treat wounds over the past 2000 years.

“Honey has a broad-spectrum, antimicrobial efficacy,” Professor Carville said.

“Whilst being very tissue friendly, it is used for control of wound infection and inflammation.”

More than half a million Australians suffer chronic wounds every year, costing the health system an estimated $3 billion. In the last financial year in WA, Silver Chain treated more than 22,000 people with 36,000 wounds.

Professor Carville said despite a higher risk of chronic wounds in those over 65, they were not a normal part of life or ageing.

“For those with new wounds it is important to talk to a GP or another health care provider,” she said.

“This is especially important if a wound is taking longer than anticipated to heal, causes pain, there is redness or heat in the surrounding skin or increased fluid.”

Ms Mohr is urging Australians during Wound Awareness Week, which runs until July 21, not to delay acting on unhealed wounds.

“Go to the doctor straight away,” she said. “I can’t emphasise how important it is to act immediately.”

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