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Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center has launched a wound healing and hyperbaric center that includes an unusual 10-patient chamber which provides a relaxing and therapeutic setting for patients. The large chamber is one of only about a dozen in use throughout the nation and includes theater-style seating with a large flat-screen TV for the approximate 100-minute treatment.
The new center, which is run in partnership with OxyHeal Health Group, also includes a second chamber that accommodates up to three patients. A nurse or technologist accompanies patients and reassures and assists them during treatment while being supervised by a credentialed hyperbaric physician for maximum therapeutic benefit and safety. Typical single-person hyperbaric chambers generally do not allow for an attendant in the chamber.
The center will be used for a number of different injuries including diabetic wounds. Injuries suffered by diabetic patients are a leading cause of amputations in the nation. The use of hyperbaric oxygen treatments has been shown to significantly reduce the amputation rate in these patients.
“This center is unusual in the Valley because it will ultimately provide services to both outpatients and patients admitted to our hospitals,” said Patty White, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s. “Eventually, inpatient services will support our trauma program and other emergency conditions that benefit from hyperbaric medical treatments.”
In addition to diabetic patients, hyperbaric oxygen treatments will benefit patients with tissue damage following exposure to radiation treatments for cancer. Other indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy include certain bacterial infections, and emergent conditions such as decompression illness, carbon monoxide poisoning, crush injuries and reattachment after a traumatic amputation. The center, in partnership with Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s, also plans to use hyperbaric oxygen for neurologic conditions such as traumatic brain injury.