The Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at Maimonides Medical Center provides a multidisciplinary approach utilizing state of the art wound care services focusing on the needs of patients with chronic, non-healing wounds of the extremities.
Individualized wound treatment is dependent upon the type and severity of the wound. Wound treatment can include:
- Conventional wound dressings
- Advanced wound dressings
- Antibiotic Therapy
- Nutritional Counseling
- Education/ Prevention
- Protective footwear
- HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY (HBO)
HBO is a medical treatment for non-healing wounds (especially in diabetes), osteomyelitis (bone infection), radiation injuries to bone or soft tissue, burns, decompression illness (sometimes referred to as” the bends”) and carbon monoxide poisoning.
The entire body is placed in a single person pressurized chamber under increased atmospheric pressure where the patient breathes 100% oxygen. The chamber is approximately 8 feet long by 3 feet wide. The treatment lasts 1 1/2 –2 hours.
How does it work?
The air we normally breathe contains 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. While in the chamber you will be breathing 100% oxygen and will be delivered at higher pressure than normal. The combination of high oxygen concentration (100%) and increased pressure causes large amounts of oxygen to enter your blood and other tissue fluids to accelerate the healing process.
How will I feel during the treatment?
Once you are in the chamber and the door is closed, you will hear the oxygen begin to circulate. We will then gradually increase the pressure. This is called “compression”. You may notice some warmth, but this is temporary. A nurse/technician will remain with you during the treatment to adjust the rate of compression according to your tolerance. During the treatment you will experience a “full” sensation in your ears. It is similar to the feeling you have during the descent in an airplane. We will coach you on how to clear your ears to eliminate this feeling. The compression generally lasts 7 to 10 minutes.
When you have reached the prescribed pressure the fullness in your ears will stop and you may rest, sleep, watch T.V or listen to music for the remainder of the procedure which lasts approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
Near the end of the treatment, the nurse/technician will gradually decrease the pressure which is called the “decompression stage”. At this time you may feel a popping sensation in your ears as a result of changing pressure.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy are rare. However, some patients report a “crackling “sensation in their ears between treatments. This may be relieved in the same manner you clear your ears during compression. If the crackling continues please tell the nurse /technician.
Some other side effects may include:
- Barotrauma – pain in the ears or sinuses
- Cerebral air embolism
- Oxygen toxicity
- Risk of fire
- Myopia – risk of worsening near-sightedness
- Presbyopia – temporary improvement in far-sightedness
- Maturing or ripening cataracts
- Numbness of fingers
- Ear fluid
How do I get ready for the treatments?
- Please bring a list of all your current medications and vitamins with their dosages. You will be instructed to take vitamin E 400 units daily during the entire course of HBO therapy.
- It is important that you notify us of any symptoms of a cold or flu, fever, sore throat, runny nose, fever blisters, cold sores, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and general ache all over feelings. The HBO treatments may be postponed until the symptoms subside.
- Stop Smoking- smokers have higher levels of carbon monoxide levels than non- smokers and do not receive the full benefit of oxygen therapy.
- You may not use any products that contain a petroleum or alcohol base prior to your treatment. Please look at your makeup, hair spray, perfume, shaving lotion or deodorant to see if they contain these ingredients.
- You will be provided with 100% cotton gowns for your treatment. NO other articles of clothing are top be worn during the treatment. You must remove all jewelry, hard contact lenses, and other prosthetic devices before the treatment.
- The nurse/technician in the unit will schedule your treatments on a daily basis. Every effort will be made to accommodate your schedule but emergencies do arise and your appointment may need to be rescheduled. If you need to cancel or change your appointment please call office as soon as possible.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What kinds of problems do diabetics have?
A. Diabetes is a chronic disease. In advanced cases, circulation to the extremities - usually the legs, feet and toes - grows increasingly constricted. When these areas are injured or when pressure sores develop, poor circulation prevents healing. When sores don't heal, infection can occur. In time, the infected area becomes gangrenous. Because gangrene can spread throughout the body, amputation may be necessary.
Q: Is amputation inevitable with chronic wounds?
A: No. In many cases, even advanced ones, amputation may be avoided by proper treatment combined with vascular surgery to restore circulation. The Vascular Institute of New York® at Maimonides has an exceptional record for limb restoration. It has been successful with patients who have come as a last resort before amputation.
Q: Do chronic-wounds require treatment for life?
A: No. There are many factors that affect the healing process, but our treatment approaches succeed in significantly decreasing the time required for wounds to heal.
Q: Do chronic wounds require time in the hospital?
A: Unless there are other complicating factors the vast majority can be treated on an outpatient basis.
Q. What can be done to prevent vascular complications?
A. People who are interested can contact our office to schedule an appointment for a vascular checkup.