Wound treatments

Specialists in hyperbaric medicine

One of the keys to treatment of non-healing wounds is hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy. The ETMC Wound Healing Center uses four hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Patients are treated in the pressurized, 100 percent oxygen environment during treatment periods we call “dives.”

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO)

content-wound-rydzakThe air we normally breathe contains 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen and one percent carbon dioxide and other gasses. Increasing the pressure of the air we breathe through the administration of HBO therapy dramatically increases the number of oxygen molecules entering the bloodstream, up to 2,000 percent. This increase in oxygen under controlled pressure means that oxygen can reach bone and tissue normally not accessible to red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the body.

HBO therapy affects the body in other ways. For example, it enhances the function of white blood cells, which fight infection. This has a positive effect on the immune system. Also, HBO therapy has a positive effect on peripheral blood vessels and causes the formation of new capillaries, which are tiny, thin-walled blood vessels. Such formations effectively increase blood flow to the hands and feet.

HBO therapy is approved by the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of many conditions, including burns, diabetic ulcers and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Conditions treated by hyperbaric oxygen therapy:

  • Air or gas embolism
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation
  • Carbon monoxide complicated By cyanide poisoning
  • Clostridial myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
  • Crush injury, compartment syndrome and other acute traumatic ischemias
  • Decompression sickness
  • Enhancement in healing in selected problem wounds
  • Exceptional blood loss (anemia)
  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections (subcutaneous tissue, muscle, fascia)
  • Osteomyelitis (chronic refactory)
  • Radiation tissue damage (osteo and soft tissue radionecrosis)
  • Skin grafts and flaps (compromised)
  • Thermal burns
  • Adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen in intracranial abscess
  • Central retinol artery occlusion
  • Icliopathic sudden sensorinevral hearing loss

Additional indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy

  • Spider bites, such as those from the brown recluse
  • Hydrogen sulfide poisoning
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Selecte refractory anaerobic infection
  • Pyoderma

Additional treatments at our center

The ETMC Wound Healing Center specialists also use a variety of additional treatments, depending on your specific needs:

Transcutaneous oxygen monitoring

This will determine the level of oxygenation available to your wound to promote healing.

Doppler evaluation of pulse

This will determine blood flow available to transport nutrients and medications to the wound.

Blood work

This will define any systemic problems such as anemia, diabetes, renal diseases or infection that could prevent your body from healing.

Wound dressings

The wound care products are chosen based on your wound’s individual needs to promote the right wound environment your body requires to heal.

Wound debridement

This is a minor procedure that enhances the growth of healthy tissues in your wound.