For patients in Rockland County suffering from chronic wounds that don't heal with normal rest and care, a treatment known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy can offer futuristic healing with incredible results.
When left untreated, certain wounds can be serious and potentially devastating -- in some cases, leading to amputation. “We’re very aggressive about having wounds heal and getting patients back to their normal life as soon as possible,” said Dr. Seby Jacob, medical director of The Wound Care Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. "Wound care is incredibly complex and wound prevalence will continue to rise as the population ages.”
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used for wounds that have not responded to traditional treatments. It works by increasing the amount of oxygen to wounds, allowing them to heal from the inside.
During treatment, patients lie 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. In the chamber, a person’s lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. The blood carries this oxygen throughout the body, which helps fight bacteria and stimulates the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells. This leads to the growth of new blood vessels in the wound and promotes healing.
Patients generally receive 30 treatments, which include about 90 minutes in the chamber, plus an additional 30 minutes of preparation time. “Patients are examined weekly to see how their wound is healing,” said Jacob. “In two to three weeks we can usually see if the patient is responding to treatment.”
At the patient’s first visit to the Wound Care Center, the doctor takes a complete medical history and conducts a physical. “We design a wound care plan with the patient, taking advantage of our multidisciplinary team that includes podiatrists and surgeons,” said Jacob. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is another powerful tool in our wound-healing toolkit.”
The Wound Care Center® at Montefiore Nyack Hospital is located at 160 North Midland Avenue in Nyack. For more information and to make an appointment, contact The Wound Care Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital at (845) 348-7600 or click here.