HBOT is used as an adjunctive treatment for problematic, non-healing wounds that meet specific criteria; it is expected that 10 to 20% of the wound care cases will do so. Throughout HBOT treatments, the patients are monitored to see if the concentration of oxygen has increased in the blood near the wound. If the oxygen level is higher, the therapy is most likely beneficial to the patient.
During the treatments, the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream, where it is delivered to a patient's wound site for faster healing. Essentially, HBOT helps heal the wound from the inside out. This therapy can help reduce swelling, fight infection, and build new blood vessels, ultimately producing healthy tissue. It is also effective in fighting certain types of infections, improving circulation, in stimulating growth of new blood vessels, and in treating crush injuries, osteomyelitis, compromised skin grafts and flaps, brown recluse spider bites, and diabetic wounds of the lower extremities.
What is an ulcer?
Ulcers are wounds that develop on the skin, which are seen most frequently in diabetics or others who have low potential to heal from injury. Ulcers can be brought about by many conditions, and although they have many causes, they are marked by:
*Loss of integrity of the area
*Secondary infection of the site by bacteria, fungus or virus
*Generalized weakness of the patient
*Diabetic foot ulceration is full-thickness penetration of the dermis (skin) of the foot in a person with diabetes.
Pressure ulcers are also known as pressure sores, bedsores, and decubitus ulcers. These are lesions caused by unrelieved pressure to any part of the body, especially portions over bony or cartilaginous areas. Ulcer severity is often classified using the Wagner system, with the severity labeled 1 (superficial) through 5 (most severe).
Ulcer Prevention Tips
The following measures may help avoid ulcers in those who may be susceptible:
•Check the skin daily for dryness, cracks, sores, bruises, reddened areas and blisters.
•Relieve pressure on sensitive areas of the body by changing position or clothing.
•Treat skin gently.
•Cleanse skin with a mild, pH-balanced product.
•Remove all cleanser residues from the skin.
•Dry all skin folds and creases.
•Pay special attention to the area between, under and around toes.
•Moisturize skin. Lubricate dry skin with a heavier barrier type product after moisturizing.
Do not apply lotions or creams between the toes, only to the tops and bottoms of feet.
•Wear soft clothing.
•Drink adequate amounts of water.
•If using tape to secure a dressing, place tape on the dressing only.
•Maintain proper nutrition.
Are you a candidate for specialized wound care?
If you suffer from a chronic or non-healing wound, speak ask your physician about a referral to our Wound Care Center, or contact us directly for an assessment. If you are a candidate for this outpatient program, the Wound Care Center will immediately work with you and your doctor to deliver the following:
• Advanced therapies, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy
• Proven clinical protocols
• An individualized, comprehensive plan of care that brings you the most appropriate and effective treatments for your specific needs
• Assessment and ongoing care by our highly skilled team of wound care specialists, including a case manager who will oversee every aspect of your treatment
• Education for you and your family to help healing happen at home, including materials and resources related to prevention, nutrition, hygiene, and more
• Ongoing communication and collaboration with you and your doctor so that you each remain informed about your progress
Wound Care Center Partnership with Diversified Clinical Services
Through a partnership with Diversified Clinical Services (DCS), Marietta Memorial Hospital is able to offer a new and comprehensive center offering specialized wound care and hyperbaric medicine. DCS is the world’s largest wound care management company with over 300 hospital partners delivering excellent evidence-based care to patients with chronic wounds. DCS has been the leader in wound care for over 20 years, offering the most advanced modalities such as adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Of special importance to our hospital, DCS Centers traditionally achieve excellent clinical outcomes, including high limb salvage rates, an 89% healing rate within 31 median days-to-heal, and extremely high patient satisfaction.