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Healing from the Inside Out - Wound Care at FMH


Of the estimated 29 million Americans with diabetes, seven out of ten suffer from a lack of feeling in their arms and legs. This means that a small cut or scratch can go unnoticed until it becomes dangerously infected. These same patients frequently suffer from poor circulation, a factor that inhibits healing oxygen from reaching the wound.

While non-healing wounds are most often the result of diabetes, other kinds can be slow to heal as well. Pressure, venous and arterial ulcers, surgical and traumatic wounds, and those caused by radiation therapy also require the coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to care available at the FMH Center for Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is one of the treatments the care team uses to treat these types of chronic, recurring or slow-to-heal wounds. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients relax in a large, see-through, cylindrical chamber where they breathe 100 percent pure oxygen. The oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream by the lungs, and carried throughout the body. Once at the wound site, the richly oxygenated blood infuses the injured tissues and promotes healing.

While inside the hyperbaric chamber, patients breathe normally while listening to music or watching movies. They are able to have snacks, juice or medication, which is sent to them through a special “pass through” lock. A hyperbaric technologist is in constant visual and audio contact with the patient during the treatment session.

The hospital’s program is one of two in Maryland to receive Accreditation with Distinction from the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the national agency tasked with accrediting hyperbaric facilities. This is the Society’s highest level of accreditation, and was based on the FMH program’s overall quality, facility, the installation, operation and maintenance of its equipment, the expertise of its staff, patient safety procedures and other standards of care.

“The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy when appropriate are dramatic,” says Dr. Narayan (Ryan) Kulkarni. “In many cases, amputation can be prevented, long-standing infections cured, function restored, and pain greatly reduced or eliminated.”

Want to learn more about the FMH Center for Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine? Call 240-566-3480, or talk to your primary care provider.