May 14, 2010 -
If you suffer from a chronic wound that hasn't healed in 30 days or a medical condition such as diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, bone infections, radiation skin irritations or vascular disorders resulting in poor blood circulation, your doctor may prescribe hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO).
The ECHN Center for Wound Healing at Manchester Memorial Hospital uses HBO to treat patients referred by a variety of medical specialists such as primary care physicians, internists, podiatrists, radiation oncologists, dentists, gynecologists, neurologists and urologists.
"HBO is used only for wounds that have not responded to traditional treatments as well as for more rare conditions such as the bends and gangrene," explains Dr. Bob Bartlett, senior medical advisor of National Healing Corporation, which advises ECHN's Center for Wound Healing and other partner hospitals around the nation.
While receiving treatment, patients watch movies while relaxing on a bed incased in a large see-through plastic shell as they are surrounded by 100 percent oxygen at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure which enables oxygen molecules to pass through the plasma to the body more easily and speed healing.
"Although patients may never have heard of it, HBO is a completely noninvasive procedure and can produce results where other treatments have failed even to the point of saving limbs from amputation," Bartlett says.
The HBO experts at ECHN's Center for Wound Healing offer the following information on what new HBO patients can expect:
- As on a plane, the only sensation patients experience is a slight pressure in the ears as the pressure changes.
- An intercom system keeps patients in contact with technicians.
- As with experiencing hyperbaric pressure underwater, treatments are called dives.
- In most instances, Medicare, Medicaid and the majority of insurance plans cover HBO.
For more information about HBO and other treatments for chronic wounds, contact The ECHN Center for Wound Healing at Manchester Memorial Hospital, 71 Haynes Street Manchester, CT 06040 (860) 533-2903.