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Center for Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Opens at Jeanes Hospital
They almost look like tanning beds with bubble canopies, or open MRI chambers with windshields. The two hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers at Jeanes Hospital's new Center for Advanced Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine are designed for a very different purpose, however: to treat patients who suffer from chronic or acute non-healing wounds, some of whom might otherwise require lower-limb amputation.

"Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be a life-enhancing alternative to amputation," says Wanda Dutton, Program Director of the new center. While diabetic wounds of the lower extremity comprise roughly 70 percent of the diagnoses of patients who receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the treatment is also effective on non-healing wounds from many other causes.

The center's two hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers can treat up to eight outpatients per day, and the center is also equipped with five wound care treatment rooms.

During treatment, the patient lays down comfortably in a private, clear, pressurized chamber with an unobstructed view for about 110 minutes, as they watch TV or take a nap. The patient breathes 100% oxygen at two to three times the normal atmospheric pressure, which saturates their blood plasma and carries 15-20 times more oxygen than usual to wounded tissue deep beneath the surface skin layers. The intensified dose of oxygen reduces edema, stimulates collagen synthesis, forms new blood vessels, and enhances leukocyte function to fight infection. A typical course of treatment for a diabetes-related wound requires 30 sessions over six weeks.

Jeanes' new Center for Advanced Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine is run in partnership with Diversified Clinical Services, Inc., a wound-care management services organization that provides operating and administrative staff (Dutton is employed by Diversified); while the center's clinical coordinator, case managers, hyperbaric oxygen technicians, and administrators are all employees of TUHS.

"All of the center's clinical staff are certified and specially trained in advanced wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and follow clinical practice guidelines using a physician-driven, multidisciplinary approach to care," explains Andrea McCoy, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Jeanes Hospital. "That approach includes consults with Jeanes podiatrists, vascular and general surgeons, family medicine and internal medicine physicians, and other medical specialists," Dr. McCoy adds.

The center also has the ability to collaborate with the Temple Limb Salvage Center for those patients who require a level of care beyond that available in the center.

"The patient remains under his or her referring physician's care, while the center's clinicians submit information to the referring physician on an ongoing basis regarding the patient's progress, along with updated photos of the wound," adds Michael Crivaro, MD, the center's Medical Director.

For more information, visit the Jeanes Hospital Center for Advanced Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine web page.


Date Published: Monday, May 07, 2012

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