The Washington Regional Wound Care Clinic offers the highly specialized treatment opportunity of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO). We have all seen a movie where a “scuba diver” is rushed to the hospital and placed in a decompression tank to treat the “bends” after coming up too fast from the deep. Well this unique treatment is also used in real life medicine for patients with very specific types of wounds. Patients with:
- Crush Injuries or acute trauma
- Pressure ulcers
- Compromised flap or graft
- Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis
- Soft Tissue Radionecrosis
- Limb salvage
- Diabetic Wounds on the feet or legs.
So what exactly happens in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy? Patients are placed in a chamber where they breath 100% oxygen under 2 atmospheres of pressure to help accelerate wound healing. This works by allowing more oxygen to reach the tissues needed to heal wounds, and by bringing white blood cells to help fight infection. The treatment feels very much like being in an airplane when it takes off; the patient needs to be able to clear their ears. While HBO treatment helps all wounds, this therapy is not for every patient.
Patients are referred to the Wound Care Clinic by their physician or primary care provider, where they are evaluated for clearance to receive HBO treatment. Sometimes your physician may request this treatment specifically or the Wound Clinic physicians may recommend it. Appointments are scheduled Monday through Thursday 7:30-4:00pm and Friday 7:30-12:00 noon, at (479) 463-4325, or referrals can be faxed to (479) 463-2322.