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.