Mid Jefferson Extended Care using state-of-art wound care to treat SETX

Published 12:28 am Saturday, February 26, 2022

NEDERLAND — Melanie Montijo has met patients who feel like the wound on their body will never be healed, saying they need a miracle.

“I tell them, ‘I can’t promise you a miracle but I can promise you we’re going to do everything in our power with our equipment to get you on the right road to recovery,’” said Montijo, a veteran nurse and clinical liaison with Mid Jefferson Extended Care Hospital.

Mid Jeff, as it is called locally, is a long-term acute care hospital, and is the only facility in Southeast Texas that has an ultrasonic debridement system. The equipment provides state-of-the-art wound care by removing bacteria and biofilm from wounds. The tip of the wand moves at 22,500 cycles per second.

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The device replaces what was once done with a knife and, sometimes, in an operating room.

Keith Barras, territory manager/field sales trainer with Misonix, which is the brand name of the device, said when dealing with wounds the first thing is to take away the barriers to healing such as bad tissue and getting the wound clean.

Sholanda Jacobs, nurse practitioner who specializes in wound care, said the system makes it easier on patients.

“The fact of not having to bring them into the (operating room) and not having to be under sedation and receive this same treatment at the bedside here can promote a faster healing,” Jacobs said.

Montijo said Barras has demonstrated the device on a peach, taking the skin off but not damaging the fruit. In addition, the procedure is not painful, they said.

The wounds they deal with are mainly from diabetic persons. There are also patients with pressure ulcers that are difficult to treat.

One of the system’s main positives is it will remove bad tissue and preserve good tissue.

Long Term Acute Hospital

Mid Jeff, being a long-term acute hospital, is for people who need hospitalization a bit longer than in a traditional hospital. And while every patient’s needs are different, they can stay at Mid Jeff for up to four weeks, Montijo said.

The hospital is a 48-bed facility, but due to COVID, officials decided to have only one patient per room as opposed to two per room. That brought the capacity down to 3.

As of Friday there were 18 patients in-house.

There is also a Beaumont location that, pre-COVID, had a capacity of 30. But with single occupancy it’s now 25.

The Beaumont facility was the first long-term acute care in the area to transform into an all-COVID unit at the start of the pandemic.

Their care was so sought after that. They had requests from Houston and Louisiana.

“If we had an open bed, we took those patients in and tried to get them the best care they could possibly get,” Montijo said. “And we got patients that have been on ventilators and had developed wounds because of COVID, and even now we still get a lot of those that come in.”

Treating the whole patient

The trio explained when bringing in a patient they immediately begin to work toward that person’s discharge.

“You have to identify what is the underlying issue of this wound and what’s causing it, then we go from there, identifying that and then we build our care plan and treatment plan,” Jacobs said.

This could mean bringing in a dietician because nutrition is a factor in healing. Physical therapy may also be needed, as well as infectious disease physicians, dermatologists, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons and podiatrists.

“We’re dealing with the whole patient,” she said.

Mid Jefferson Extended Care Hospital is located at 2600 FM 365. Call 409-726-8700 for more information.