The flu can cause wounds to heal at a much slower rate.
Although some infected wounds can produce flu-like symptoms, numerous individuals who get a diabetic ulcer, chronic wound or the like during flu season may be battling with a independent fever, cough or cold prior to the wound becoming present. Wound care with a suppressed immune system can prompt the need for unique wound care. Here are a few ideas:
Dosage of Painkillers
Flu symptoms can include body aches, a sore throat and a throbbing head, as well as inflamed lymph nodes, while the wound itself will also likely be tender or painful to touch. The multitude of painful symptoms may prompt the need for a higher dosage of painkillers – if symptoms for all maladies are not severe, something like 800 mg of ibuprofen may provide pain relief while also minimizing the inflammation, helping to reduce the side effects for both.
Slower Wound Healing
White and red blood cells are working double time in a patient with the flu and a wound, which can make wound healing take much longer than it might otherwise. Because of this, it is important to order extra dressings and wound supplies for the patient, as the normal timeline for a dime-sized diabetic ulcer, for example, will not be the same as it would for a patient in good health.
Examining the wound for a longer period of time to make sure proper healing is occurring is also key – although progress will happen more slowly, it is important to confirm that healing is indeed taking place.
Carbohydrates and Fluids
Wounds require the proper nutrients and minerals to heal, yet it can be hard to keep things down when you have the flu. Wound patients with the flu should try to eat at least a little food every hour – WebMD recommends anything from a cup of soup to a slice of toast. The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) usually consists of all easily digestible foods that can be consumed even with a sore throat. Patients should be sure to choose whole wheat toast and unsweetened applesauce to minimize any excess sugar, which can delay the healing process. This is especially important for diabetic patients, who should also check their blood sugar far more often (the American Diabetes Foundation recommends every three hours when ill) and keep their insulin readily on hand.