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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy newest treatment for chronic wounds

By Dr. Marc Dolce • May 21, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States and the incidence is expected to rise at a rate of two percent annually over the next decade.

An aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes and obesity contribute to the chronic wound epidemic.

Since the Center for Wound Healing opened in 2009, our team has worked to educate people — especially those with diabetes — about early treatment of chronic wounds.

Studies show a five-year mortality rate of 50 percent for someone losing a limb. So with diabetes and diabetic wounds at epidemic proportions in our community, our goal is to save limbs. To achieve that goal, patients susceptible to chronic wounds must recognize the seriousness of their risk. The two most common wounds we treat are venous stasis ulcer and diabetic wounds.

We continue to expand our advanced wound care modalities to find new ways to heal people in the rural community we serve. That’s why Fisher-Titus now offers Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), a painless treatment employed to heal problem wounds. This advanced technology was introduced in April and is among the wide range of treatment options offered at the Fisher-Titus Center for Wound Healing.

We continuously look at ways to heal more of our patients’ chronic wounds faster. HBOT is a leading method to achieve that so we now have two new HBOT monochamber units at Fisher-Titus.

What is HBOT?

HBOT sessions, which last about two hours, occur in a transparent chamber containing 100 percent oxygen. The treatments increase your blood’s ability to carry the pure oxygen to wound tissue and enhance white blood cell activity to heal a wound faster and fight infection better.

Most problem wound patients receive between 30 and 40 treatments. HBOT treats a variety of conditions including diabetes-related wounds of the lower extremity, chronic bone infections, radiation injury and compromised skin grafts.

How does HBOT work?

HBOT allows your lungs to gather up to three times more oxygen than would be possible breathing at normal air pressure. Your blood then carries this oxygen throughout your body, where it can help fight bacteria and stimulate the release of growth factors and stem cells.

The short version: Injured body tissue heals more quickly when more oxygen is available.

HBOT is just one of the tools we use to keep our patients healthy — and feeling good. Give us a call today if you've got a wound that won't heal. Our experienced team at the Fisher-Titus Center for Wound Healing will work with you to do everything we can to help you get your quality of life back. For more information, call 419-660-6980 or visit fishertitus.org/wound.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Marc Dolce is board-certified in podiatric surgery and is co-medical director of the Fisher-Titus Center of Wound Healing

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