Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center
If you are suffering from a non-healing wound, you are not alone. Every year, chronic wounds, caused by diabetes, poor circulation or other conditions, keep three to five million Americans just like you from doing the things they love to do.
At the Fort Duncan Medical Center Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center, we can help you get your life back. The team of dedicated doctors and nurses treat all kinds of wounds, including wounds that have resisted healing after months or even years of traditional treatment. Our healing rate is over 80 percent and for most patients, the Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center program may leave them completely healed in just a few months.
Some of the typical conditions treated include:
- Venous ulcers
- Diabetic ulcers
- Non-healing surgical wounds
- Wounds that require incision and drainage
- Trauma wounds
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Originally used primarily as a treatment for decompression sickness and other diving accidents, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven highly effective for a number of medical and surgical conditions. This treatment is now available at many leading medical centers, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Medicare and is recognized by the American Medical Association.
Noninvasive and painless, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is periodic, short-term inhalation of 100 percent oxygen at high pressures. It is typically used to augment other treatments and enhance the body’s natural healing process. For instance, if small vessel disease or vasculitis reduces oxygen flow to a damaged area, hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly increases oxygen delivery to hypoxic tissues.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy dramatically raises the oxygen level in the bloodstream and dissolves oxygen into all body fluids, including plasma, central nervous system fluids, lymph and bone. Delivering up to 15 times more oxygen to damaged tissues than normal respiration, hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces local swelling and promotes the growth of new blood vessels. Among the positive impacts for patients:
- Accelerated healing
- Decreased morbidity and long-term disability
- Shorter hospital stays
- Reduced cost of care
- Improved quality of life
Clear Treatment Criteria and Protocols
Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center's Hyperbaric Medicine Program has provided hyperbaric oxygen therapy to hundreds of patients since 1996, and we continue to grow each year. We treat only conditions approved for treatment by the recognized national authority on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.
Most commonly, we provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy for:
- Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds
- Radiation tissue damage (including osteoradionecrosis)
- Preparing for tooth extraction or surgery in areas treated with radiation therapy
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
Other conditions for which we provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Air or gas embolism (from diving, indwelling catheters or laparoscopy)
- Decompression sickness
- Clostridial myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections (subcutaneous tissue, muscle, fascia)
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps after surgery
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome and other acute traumatic ischemias
- Exceptional blood loss (anemia)
- Intracranial abscess
An Ideal Treatment Environment
The medical team has expertise in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. They work closely with our technical and nursing staff, who also have special training in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Our spacious, hyperbaric facility is designed to provide a comfortable, pleasant environment for patients. We use SECHRIST monoplace hyperbaric chambers, which have a high safety record. Their transparent, double-acrylic walls allow technicians to closely monitor patients and allow patients a clear outward view. While inside these total-body chambers, patients can communicate with attending technicians via intercom, watch television, listen to music or nap.
Patients inhale 10 times as much oxygen as at sea level and experience approximately twice the atmospheric pressure. They rarely feel any more discomfort than they would from changes in air pressure during airplane travel. Throughout treatment, patients are attended by medical staff who have been specially trained in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. If a patient does need critical care, many modalities, including mechanical ventilation and invasive monitoring, are easily continued in the chamber. In addition, the program provides excellent wound care before and after hyperbaric treatment.
The frequency and duration of hyperbaric oxygen therapy varies considerably, depending on the condition being treated. Typical treatment is two hours per day, five days a week.
We Make Referrals Easy
We treat acute and chronic patients, self or physician referrals. Patients remain under the primary care of the referring physician and receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an adjunct to existing treatment. Throughout the course of therapy, we maintain close contact with the referring physician.
Due to the size of our program, we can easily accommodate patients’ schedules. We have a trained hyperbaric physician available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to field consultation requests or answer questions.
The Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center participates in most health plans, many of which reimburse hyperbaric oxygen therapy, as does Medicare.