|Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) stimulates circulation and promotes healing. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session, the patient is placed in a cylindrical acrylic chamber with 100 percent oxygen under pressure, which delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the bloodstream, accelerating the healing rate of wounds and stimulating angiogenesis, the production of new blood vessels. These mechanisms and others related to increased oxygen activity enhance the body’s ability to heal. HBOT technician Anthony Shealy monitors a patient.||After 20 years of operating a wound care center of excellence, the Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the addition of hyperbaric medicine to their Advanced Wound Healing Center. John Samies, MD, medical director of the center, has announced that patients are now being treated in RMC’s two new hyperbaric oxygen chambers.|
The Advanced Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center is a hospital-based outpatient service whose wound management model includes a variety of treatments for chronic and non-healing wounds. Treatments include research-based, best clinical practices in wound care management, such as debridement, negative pressure wound therapy, biosynthetic skin substitutes, infusion therapy, as well as hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Referrals to the Advanced Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center are particularly appropriate for patients with a wound that has not healed within 30 days.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) stimulates circulation and promotes healing. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session, the patient is placed in a cylindrical acrylic chamber with 100 percent oxygen under pressure, which delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the bloodstream, accelerating the healing rate of wounds and stimulating angiogenesis, the production of new blood vessels. These mechanisms and others related to increased oxygen activity enhance the body’s ability to heal. The average course of treatment lasts about two hours on 30-35 consecutive days (excluding weekends). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is painless and typically requires neither pain medication nor sedation. Early intervention with hyperbaric oxygen therapy can prevent unnecessary pain and suffering and support a patient’s return to a normal lifestyle.
The Advanced Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center medical director evaluates each patient thoroughly to identify the type of wound and its cause, and then works in conjunction with the referring physician and the patient to design a treatment plan. Referring physicians receive information about the patient’s healing outcomes-quantified measurements generated by state-of-the-art software, which measures and photographs the wound weekly from the commencement of treatment to completion, so progress can be precisely monitored.
RMC’s wound treatment program evolved from a nurse-run clinic, established by Marie Gehling, who serves as the Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center’s nurse practitioner. “We started the clinic in 1992, and patients were referred by their primary care physicians,” noted Gehling. “Five years later Dr. Samies joined the clinic as our medical director, and we immediately began expanding our facility and services, participating in research trials, and educating at local, regional and national wound care conferences. As we continue to expand our services and offer even more advanced wound care modalities, our patient demand has steadily increased. We are excited to now offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy.”
The Wound Healing Center’s multi-disciplinary healthcare team includes two board certified physicians, a nurse practitioner with advanced training in wound management, and nurses and physical therapists skilled in chronic wound care treatment. The team also includes a specialty trained diabetes educator, dieticians, and HBOT technicians. After careful evaluation of a patient’s condition and medical history, the staff will develop an appropriate and specific treatment plan for the patient. “In analyzing the number of patients with peripheral vascular disease not amenable to revascularization, we have concluded that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an important treatment modality for our patients,” said Gehling. Patients with the following diagnoses may also benefit from HBOT: diabetic wounds, chronic bone infection, acute arterial insufficiency, radiation related problems, necrotizing infections, gas gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning, crush injuries and other non-healing wounds.
“Our team treats the largest number of wound patients in South Carolina and by providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy to our patients, we have significantly advanced our goal of maximizing limb preservation in our state. We pride ourselves in delivering the highest level of care to our patients,” commented Dr. Samies.
In order to provide the highest level of care, the center has partnered with Serena Group Medical Research, an organization that is recognized internationally for its state-of-the-art research into the treatment of wounds. According to Dr. Samies, “The Serena Group will provide us with clinical expertise in HBOT and additional resources for our research programs. We anticipate participating in two new clinical trials in 2012. All of these many advanced services and clinical research keep RMC on the cutting edge in offering the most advanced care for our patients.”
The Advanced Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center is located on the first floor of the hospital between Admitting and the Emergency Department. Patients must be referred by their physician. Please call (803) 395-2471 for any questions or to refer a patient.
About the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties
The Regional Medical Center, in Orangeburg, S.C., is a 286-bed acute-care facility employing more than 1,200 healthcare professionals. Serving Orangeburg and Calhoun counties and surrounding areas, RMC is accredited by The Joint Commission and offers a 24-hour emergency department and a full-range of high-quality medical services such as same day surgery, orthopaedics, obstetrics, cardiology and the latest in diagnostic imaging. RMC received the prestigious Thomson Reuters Healthcare Advantage Award in 2010 for clinical advancements in quality patient care.