Dr. Ming-Wei Wu on the Use of Santyl® Ointment in Wound Treatment

A licensed Doctor of Osteopathy, wound care expert Dr. Ming-Wei Wu maintains a thriving private practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also a spokesman for research and development company Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, he promotes the enzymatic ointment Santyl®.

Officially known as Collagenase Santyl® Ointment, this product is used in debriding severe burns and chronic dermal (skin) ulcers. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Santyl® uses collagenese enzymes to liquefy the fibers within necrotic (dead) tissue. The dead tissue then separates from the wound and washes away smoothly with the routine wound cleansing process.

Debridement, or removal of dead tissue and its related debris, has proven a critical step in the healing of a wound. Santyl® supports this process, as it makes the dead tissue easier to remove while preserving the nearby granulation tissue that helps the wound to heal. Santyl® can be applied at home by the patient, making it a convenient as well as an effective tool in wound care.

Why the American Board of Wound Management Matters

Dr. Ming-Wei Wu is a member of the American Board of Wound Management. The American Board of Wound Management is a professional organization for health care providers who specialize in wound treatment, including surgeons like Dr. Wu who specialize in wound care surgery.

The Board was originally formed by a group of professional specialists who saw a need for an organization that would help them better care for their patients—people who suffer from serious and/or chronic wounds of all types. With the power of a membership organization, the Board members are able to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in wound treatment medicine and technology, and to network easily to share information.

The American Board of Wound Management has also established certification levels for those who specialize in wound care. The Board offers three different certificates, each designed for a specific class of healthcare worker. The Certified Wound Care Associate designation is meant for workers with at least three years of experience in wound treatment, but not necessarily any formal training; the Certified Wound Specialist designation is for licensed healthcare professionals who have three years of wound treatment experience plus an academic degree, including nurses and physicians; and the Certified Wound Specialist Physician certificate is offered to doctoral-level healthcare professionals who have already received a Certified Wound Specialist designation.

By providing professional peer oversight to the field of wound care and management, the American Board of Wound Management confers many benefits on its members. Furthermore, it helps patients select the best healthcare professional to treat their wound, since membership and certification both denote a certain level of guaranteed professionalism. To find out more about the Board and what it represents, visit the AAWM website at http://www.aawm.org.

Interview: What Is Santyl?

Dr. Ming-Wei Wu has been a surgeon and clinical doctor for many years. Today, he works as a Clinical Associate at Touro University in Las Vegas, where he specializes in surgery related to wound care. Dr. Wu is also a proponent of Santyl, a collagenase enzyme ointment from Healthpoint. We recently spoke with him about Santyl and what it does.

INTERVIEWER: We’re pleased to have you with us today. You’re a spokesperson for this new product, Santyl. What is it?

DMW: Santyl is an ointment that helps to dissolve dead tissue in wounds. By removing the dead tissue, we encourage growth of new, healthy tissue.

INT: What kinds of specific applications does it have?

DMW: It’s a fairly versatile product, but of course it’s for external use only. In particular, it’s effective at treating skin ulcers and severe burns… basically any time there’s going to be nonliving tissue in the wound.

INT: And can anyone just go out and buy a tube of Santyl, for example, to keep in a medical kit?

DMW: Santyl is a powerful enzyme-based treatment, so no. It’s restricted to prescription use only.

INT: Thank you for taking a few minutes to tell us about it.

DMW: Certainly.

Information on Osteopathic Care, by Dr. Ming-Wei Wu

Osteopathic care is a growing field of medicine among healthcare providers in the United States and is derived from the concept that medical problems in the body, specifically within the musculoskeletal system, are connected to the well-being of other organ systems. Traditional osteopathic medicine examines the entire body in a holistic approach, rather than as a collection of organs or body parts that may be damaged or affected by disease individually.

One approach to osteopathic care is manipulative therapy, which is a hands-on technique used by doctors and healthcare professionals to discover and treat abnormalities in muscle tone. Along with clinical treatment, the doctor and the patient work in concert to examine the overall impact of lifestyle and community on an individual’s health, and work to find ways to improve health from a holistic standpoint. While osteopathic care is often found in obstetrics, surgery, and other medicines, primary care providers are among the best equipped to practice the tradition because of their position as the patient’s initial contact during any health problem or wellness issue.

About the author:
Ming-Wei Wu, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, provides general surgery and wound care, and is based in Las Vegas. He is a member of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.

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