Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy shows fresh air is sometimes the best medicine

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Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care uses leading edge therapies to renew the body’s innate ability to heal chronic wounds. One state-of-the-art therapy being used to save limbs from amputation updates the folk wisdom that fresh air cures anything.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBO, increases the amount of oxygen to wounds allowing them to heal from the inside.

Patients receiving treatments watch television while relaxing on a bed encased in a large see-through plastic shell as they are surrounded by 100 percent oxygen at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure.

Under hyperbaric conditions, oxygen molecules in the patient’s red blood cells become reduced in size to more easily dissolve into the liquid portion of the blood and be transported throughout the body to speed healing.

During the non-invasive procedure, the only sensation patients experience is a slight pressure in the ears, as on an airplane, when the pressure changes.

HBO treatments are used for wounds that have not responded to traditional treatments.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven, well-documented results healing numerous conditions including diabetic foot ulcers, radiation injuries to tissue and bone and some types of vascular disorders resulting in poor blood circulation,” explained the center’s Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Fields, MS, FNP.

“Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy,” she added.

The Center works in collaboration with primary care and specialty physicians and also welcomes self-referrals. Treatments are typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans.

For more information about Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care and treatment options available, call 315-338-7540.

The center is located at 267 Avery Lane in the Griffiss Professional Complex, Griffiss Business and Technology Park.

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