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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Improves Wound Healing

Submitted by Bonnie Cunningham, GCNS-BC, CWOCN

Chronic, non-healing wounds are an issue in almost all areas of medicine. Wounds associated with diabetes are a major factor in amputations and early death. Problem wounds caused by vascular disease, trauma, necrotizing infections, or radiation injury are regularly seen in physicians’ offices. It is not uncommon to encounter patients who have had a wound for months or even years, who have been regularly treated by their primary physician, yet the wound persists. Why? 

Wound healing is a complex series of well-orchestrated events that occur at a cellular level. As we age, many factors impact our body’s ability to heal. The process is affected by other co-morbidities (illnesses or health issues we have) which act to slow the healing process. The application of a dressing or Band-Aid to cover the wound does not always lead to healing.  Any wound that fails to progress to healing within a month or more, would benefit from a referral to a wound specialist who is skilled in wound assessment and treatment.

Beebe’s Wound Care Program has been providing comprehensive wound treatment to the community since 1998. Beebe’s outcomes-driven program focuses on healing wound(s) quickly. The healing rate is consistently greater than 96 percent, exceeding the national average. Many of these wounds went untreated for weeks or months before receiving specialized wound care.
By taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the Beebe team comprised of specialized wound care providers, evaluates the patient, then develops and implements a care plan tailored to enhance the patient’s healing potential.

Depending upon the wound status, treatment options may include one or more of the following:

  • Advanced wound dressings
  • Bioengineered tissue implants
  • Growth factors
  • Negative pressure therapy
  • Referral for revascularization or other surgical procedures
  • Debridement
  • Blood glucose control
  • Compression therapy
  • Nutrition support 
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Planning Your Care
It is important that no matter the treatment chosen, the wound care team and the primary care physician are in regular communication.
Thanks to a generous contribution by the Beebe Auxiliary, Beebe will now be offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy at a new location in the Medical Arts Building at the Beebe Health Campus on Route 24.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven to increase oxygen concentration in the body, which helps fight bacteria, improve healing rates, and avoid loss of limbs in patients with diabetes, vascular disorders, or who have sustained serious trauma.

Beebe will be installing the BARA-MED “Select” hyperbaric chamber, which provides the most advanced and effective treatment available.
Manufactured by Environmental Tectonics Corporation, the BARA-MED “Select” is designed to protect patients from inner ear squeeze, a major discomfort that competing hyperbaric chambers fail to address.

The chamber is spacious, temperature-controlled, and runs quietly, reducing patient anxiety. It is equipped with an entertainment system, enabling patients to watch videos during treatment.  A technician is in close proximity at all times.

Talk to your Doctor
If you have a wound that hasn’t healed for a month or more, talk to your doctor about Beebe’s Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine to see if the program would benefit you.
Physicians may fax a signed physician order, including specific wound or ostomy details and recent medical history to (302) 645-3428, and direct patients to call the program at (302) 645-3121 to set up an appointment.

Bonnie Cunningham, GCNS-BC, CWOCN, is a Certified Wound and Ostomy Care Nurse. She is the director of Beebe Healthcare’s Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine program. For more information about the program, call (302) 645-3121. For more information on Wound Healing, go to:  /wound-healing

 

 

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