Wound Therapy Services at North Florida Regional offers wound specialists that can assist with the diagnosis and treatment of even the most difficult to heal wounds. Wound Therapy Services offers special outpatient treatment for wounds that have not healed in 8 to 12 weeks, including diabetic ulcers, vascular wounds, wounds resulting from trauma, post-surgical wounds and dog and spider bites. Specially trained physicians and nurses use the latest therapeutic procedures to help heal chronic wounds and sores that have resisted other forms of treatment. Wound Therapy Services is located in The Medical Arts Building on the NFRMC campus.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment that is used to treat a limited but diverse series of illnesses. It may be the primary treatment for some disorders, but it is often used as part of a combined program involving antibiotics and surgery. In order to provide patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a pressurized chamber is necessary. The patient is placed within the chamber, which is then compressed to the level ordered by the consulting hyperbaric physician, using pure oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen is a simple concept. The air we breathe contains 21 percent oxygen. Providing 100 percent oxygen by face mask without the use of a chamber has certain limited benefits. By providing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, we are able to deliver two to three times that which can be provided by breathing 100 percent oxygen with no increase in pressure. This “hyperbaric” (or high pressure) dose of oxygen offers distinct therapeutic benefits.
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
Dr. Ellis, Medical Director of Hyperbaric Medicine, checks on a patient receiving the Hyperbaric treatment through the telephone intercom while the patient relaxes in front of a scenic view and watches either television or a DVD from our library.
Oxygen, when delivered to a patient in a hyperbaric chamber, greatly increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to body tissue by the blood. All of the benefits provided by hyperbaric oxygen therapy are the result of this extra oxygen within the chamber in direct contact with wounds. This is the reason that your dressings are usually left in place during the treatment. Depending upon the reason for your referral to the Hyperbaric Medicine Service, hyperbaric oxygen will be used to provide you with one or more of the following effects:
- Increased oxygen delivery to the injured tissue
- Greater blood vessel formation
- Advanced wound healing
- Improved infection control
- Preservation of damaged tissues
- Elimination of toxic substances
- Reduced effects from toxic substances
- Reduction or elimination of tissue obstruction by gas bubbles
It may be necessary to undergo as many as 30-60 treatments for maximum benefit. Your planned treatment course will be discussed with you in detail prior to starting therapy.