A patient’s weight plays a large role in the rate of wound healing. It is widely known that people that are overweight or obese are more likely to experience fungal conditions, ulcers and delayed restoration of injuries.

While many automatically think of adults in these cases, medical professionals cannot overlook the effect weight issues play on children. According to a study published in January by the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, this group of patients is at the highest risk for an infection at the surgical site. There are many reasons why this may be the case, according to Dr. Catherine Hunter, pediatric surgeon at the facility.

“These include impaired wound healing due to the lower oxygen tension found in the excess fat tissue surrounding the wound as well as impaired lymphocyte responsiveness,” she said. “However more studies need to look at this further.”

It’s critical for medical professionals to take this information into consideration when working with adolescent patients who are obese or overweight. Children not only need a wound care plan that they can follow but also a support system to help ensure the injury is progressing. Doctors should educate patients struggling with weight issues about the implications of their current health and what increased diet and exercise can mean for their surgical site and overall mental and physical wellness.

In addition, healthcare providers should ask for frequent check-ins and updates about postoperative wounds.

While the Hippocratic Oath requires that doctors respect and serve all people, that promise is even more vital to patients who are children. Obese and overweight youngsters need as much support as they can get to ensure they recover from their injury as quickly as possible.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.