Childhood injuries that result in open wounds are common and should be expected by parents. For many children, these types of wounds occur when injuries arise during playing and well unintentional falls take place. If your child has sustained an injury that resulted in an open wound, and if you find that the open wound has not healed as quickly as normal, this may be indicative of a far greater health concern for which medical attention should be sought.
Non-healing wounds can be attributed to a variety of complications. For some children, a non-healing wound, coupled with extensive bruising around the injury, could be indicative of an inherited disorder that affects the connective tissue – a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos. With this type of health complication, there will be a variety of health issues to be addressed over the course of a child’s life but the first indicator, usually, that this complication exists involves the non-healing open wound.
When meeting with your child’s pediatrician about the possible complications of a non-healing wound, it is important to ask the pediatrician to test your child for a variety of connective tissue complications that may be leading to a problem with collagen production. Because these functions of the body are necessary for wound healing, when there is a deficiency, your child’s wounds will not easily heal. Making this type of medical testing request of the pediatrician would be perfectly normal in this scenario.
If confirmed with Ehlers-Danlos, your child will be expected to experience a variety of health complication over the course of his or her life and will need to create a healthcare team that will help to manage the varied conditions. From oral health care to cardiovascular disease, many physiological systems of the body rely on healthy connective tissue. As a parent, if your child is diagnosed with this complication, after experiencing a non-healing wound, then begin to pull together those health resources in an effort to lay the ground work for more healthy outcomes in your child in the future.
Wounds of any type should be monitored for healing progression and reported to a physician when healing does not seem normal. If your child has a non-healing wound that is associated with some extensive bruising, ask your doctor about the possible risk for Ehlers-Danlos and obtain the necessary testing to rule out, or confirm, the diagnosis.
Sources: 2009 Conquering Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, PM Medical Health News, (CD-Rom).