Not feeling so well? Get some fresh air. It’s folk wisdom that goes back to seemingly the dawn of time.
But fresh air is also a state-of-the-art therapy. And its being used by physicians and clinicians at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Wound Care Center to save limbs from amputation.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBO, increases the amount of oxygen to wounds, allowing them to heal from the inside.
Patients receiving treatments watch television while relaxing on a bed encased in a large see-through plastic shell as they are surrounded by 100 percent oxygen at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure.
Never miss a local story.
Under hyperbaric conditions, oxygen molecules in the patient’s red blood cells become reduced in size to more easily dissolve into the liquid portion of the blood and be transported throughout the body to speed healing.
During the non-invasive procedure, the only sensation patients experience is a slight pressure in the ears, as on an airplane, when the pressure changes.
HBO treatments are used for wounds that have not responded to traditional treatments. Treatments are typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans. The center also welcomes self-referrals.
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven, well-documented results healing numerous conditions including diabetic foot ulcers, radiation injuries to tissue and bone and some types of vascular disorders resulting in poor blood circulation,” said Katy Rowland, chief clinical officer for Healogics, the nation’s leader in wound care services, serving more than 200,000 patients annually.
The SJH Wound Care Center is a member of the Healogics network.
Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy.
The St. Joseph’s Hospital Wound Care Center also offers negative pressure therapies, bio-engineered tissues and bio-synthetics to treat chronic wounds.
For more information, call (618) 651-2502 or visit http://Healogics Chief Clinical Officer Katy Rowland explains,.