Stillwater, Okla. – Today is all about the quick fix. People prefer solutions that come in nice packages – often pill bottles with easy to follow instructions. But, what happens to the patient whose wound simply will not heal? Where do you turn when a pill cannot treat your condition?
Stillwater Medical Center sees tremendous results with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) offered at the Dorothy Blackwell Wound Care Clinic. HBOT has proven especially effective for chronic wounds and injuries that are non-responsive to standard treatments.
Stillwater Medical Center and local physicians recently found HBOT so effective that a second hyperbaric chamber was added to the clinic.
“I am really a believer in hyperbaric oxygen therapy,” said Dr. Randy Baker, general surgeon and medical director for the Dorothy Blackwell Wound Care Clinic. “We have had many successes and managed to save many patients from amputation. Overall, the response rates are very encouraging, and I hope that the indications for use will be much broader in the future.”
Medicare approves 13 diagnoses for hyperbaric treatment. Stillwater Medical Center focuses on wound related conditions including diabetic foot ulcers, osteomyelistis (bone infection), osteoradionecrosis (ORN), radiation burns, gangrene and compromised/failed flaps and skin grafts.
During a hyperbaric treatment, a patient breathes 100% oxygen in a room or chamber where the air is pressurized up to three times higher than normal air pressure. A patient’s lungs can gather up to three times more oxygen under these conditions. The increased oxygen absorbs into the patient’s blood and circulates throughout the body. This triggers the release of growth factors and stem cells that promote healing and fight infection in damaged tissue.
“With outstanding clinical results, there was such a high demand for the hyperbaric chamber that it only made sense to add another,” said Shyla Eggers, director of public relations. “Appointments were being made months in advance, so an additional chamber allows our team to treat more patients with less wait.”
The Dorothy Blackwell Wound Care Clinic sees approximately 70 patients each week. It is one of only a handful of wound care clinics statewide to offer hyperbaric treatments. A nurse continuously monitors patients during HBOT, and most treatments last 2 to 4 hours.
Tina Holzer, clinical manager for the Dorothy Blackwell Wound Care Clinic said, “The clinic provides patients an opportunity to get advanced treatment without the travel and improves their chances of saving limbs, healing the wounds and restoring a higher quality of life.”
Funded by the Stillwater Medical Center Foundation, the second chamber is the largest monoplace chamber available. The large diameter and clear acrylic make it easier on patients who may be claustrophobic. The chamber’s computerized system allows the Stillwater Medical Center team to capture and store individualized treatment profiles and patient data.
“The hyperbaric clinic is a direct result of Stillwater Medical Center’s desire to provide a much needed specialty service to Stillwater and the surrounding communities,” said Holzer. “Many of our patients lack adequate transportation and would be unable to travel for this type of treatment.“
For more information about Stillwater Medical Center’s hyperbaric treatments and the Dorothy Blackwell Wound Care Clinic, please call 405-372-1480 or visit www.StillwaterMedical.com.