Pure Oxygen May Bring Pure Relief for Patients with Nonhealing Wounds - Adventist HealthCare

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News Release

Media Contact: Tom Grant

Published on May 04, 2004

Press Release

Pure Oxygen May Bring Pure Relief for Patients with Nonhealing Wounds

Rockville, MD - For patients seeking relief from the pain of chronic wounds, the key to healing may be in the air around them: oxygen.

Oxygen may sound simple, but the delivery is highly advanced. It's called Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Therapy.

The Wound Care Center® at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital is using Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber(s) in which patients are surrounded in 100 percent oxygen at two to three times atmospheric pressure, said Caryn Dalgewicz, program director. Shady Grove is the only hospital in Montgomery County to offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

"The air that we normally breathe is about 21 percent oxygen. The high-intensity oxygen provided through Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy increases the amount of oxygen circulated to body tissues through a patient's blood. Oxygen-enriched blood has been proven to help in preserving damaged tissues, increased blood vessel formation, infection control and ultimately wound healing," said Dalgewicz.

"Chronic wounds can be painful and life disrupting, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is another way to promote healing and bring relief to patients who suffer from them."

When medically indicated, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is used as part of a comprehensive wound treatment regimen for patients with diabetes or circulatory problems that can lead to injuries, sores, chronic infections or gangrene.

Patients treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy are placed in a sealed hyperbaric chamber that is pressurized to two to three times atmospheric pressure for periods between 90 to 120 minutes. The treatments are typically performed five times per week for less severe wounds and up to twice daily for more severe conditions.

Hyperbaric chambers used at the Wound Care Center have sophisticated features that provide for patient safety and comfort. Often, patients are able to watch television or listen to music during treatment. A physician specialist and specially trained nurses and technicians supervise treatments.

While today's hyperbaric chambers are technologically advanced, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was developed in the late 1800s and first used to treat decompression sickness ("the bends") in deep-sea divers who swam up to the surface too fast.

While Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is indicated for a variety of medical conditions, it has been clinically proven to promote wound healing as part of comprehensive treatment regimen, said Dalgewicz.

Nearly five million Americans suffer from chronic nonhealing wounds, including an estimated 2.5 million of the 16 million people with diabetes, who will develop foot or leg ulcers as a result of neuropathy, or nerve damage, a complication of the disease.

For more information about the comprehensive treatment at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital Wound Care Center, call (301) 279-6106.

The Shady Grove Adventist Hospital Wound Care Center is affiliated with Curative Health Services, the largest nationwide network of wound care specialists. Wound Care Centers offer comprehensive, interdisciplinary wound management through individualized, aggressive treatment programs.

Located in Rockville, Maryland, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital has 274 licensed beds and employs approximately 1,800 people. The hospital provides an array of health care services including emergency medicine, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care, maternity and high-risk maternity services, cardiology, orthopedics, oncology and many others. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital is part of Adventist HealthCare, a non-profit network of health care providers that includes hospitals, home health agencies, nursing centers and other health care services.

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