Lourdes Burlington Helps Heal More Wound Patients with Addition of 2nd Hyperbaric Chamber
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
To meet the growing number of patients requiring advanced wound care, Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County has expanded its capabilities with the recent addition of a second hyperbaric chamber.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) involves breathing 100 percent oxygen inside a chamber pressured to the equivalent of being 40+ feet underwater. Normally, the air we breathe during normal activities contains 21 percent oxygen.
By breathing 100 percent oxygen at a higher pressure, 20 times more oxygen travels through the bloodstream to injured organs and tissue, encouraging the growth of new blood vessels and causing accelerated healing. Patients with chronic, non-healing wounds are ideal candidates for this form of therapy. The new chamber is part of the Lourdes Center for Hyperbaric Medicine, conveniently housed within the hospital and available for both inpatient and outpatient treatment.
"The success of hyperbaric medicine in the treatment of non-healing wounds and other conditions has more and more patients seeking this service,'' says Louis S. Ruvolo, MD, Medical Director of the Lourdes Wound Healing Center. "This is a growing area of medicine that is being used successfully to treat many conditions which have been unresponsive to other treatments. We look forward to helping more patients reclaim their lives with the addition of a second chamber."
More than 6 million Americans currently suffer from chronic non-healing wounds. Wounds may be caused by diabetes, poor circulation, traumatic injury, radiation therapy and other causes. Non-healing wounds that are left untreated are a serious health issue that can lead to the loss of limbs.
The Wound Healing Center at Lourdes treats an average of 3,000 patients per year and offers specialized care for chronic and non-healing wounds. Patients who require more intensive wound-healing intervention are given HBOT through the Lourdes Center for Hyperbaric Medicine. Hyperbaric therapy can help an acute, chronic or post-operative wound.
HBOT is approved to treat a number of conditions, including decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, problem wounds (such as foot ulcers related to diabetes), bone infections called osteomyelitis and thermal burns.
In addition, numerous studies have demonstrated HBOT can have great benefit for the treatment of cancer. For instance, hyperbaric oxygen improves the body's sensitivity to chemotherapy and can help heal soft tissue radiation injuries of the head, neck, chest wall and breast.
Lourdes' hyperbaric chambers accommodate a single patient at a time. The chambers are clear so the patient, who is lying on his or her back, and the technician or physician maintain visual contact at all times. They also feature an intercom system for two-way private conversation and audio input for patient entertainment.
Treatment plans vary according to individual, although most involve at least 20 sessions. Each therapy session typically lasts 90 minutes.
Dr. Ruvolo urges individuals with wounds that won't heal on their own to visit the Wound Healing Center for assessment. "Hyperbaric treatment may be the right option for you."
For media inquiries, please contact Lauren Markin at Markinl@lourdesnet.org or (856) 705-1375.