Oxygen keeps us healthy and alive, and it might mean more to your body than you think. Important for more than just breathing, our tissues also need oxygen to function properly and heal.
We sometimes have stubborn wounds and infections that take a long time to heal (five weeks or more!), which can hamper our overall health. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can help heal your wounds faster.
With HBOT, patients enter a sealed, pressurized tube filled with pure oxygen. The air pressure inside the tube is raised, which helps the body more easily absorb oxygen into the bloodstream. With the increased pressure, your blood can carry 15 to 20 times the normal amount of oxygen to your wounds!
When your blood carries this extra oxygen throughout your body, it helps fight bacteria and stimulates the release of substances called growth factors to promote healing.
HBOT complements other treatments and has been shown to reduce limb loss and hospitalizations. It is particularly effective with complex wounds that were previously thought untreatable.
However, HBOT doesn’t treat everything, so you’ll have to work with your doctor to identify if your wound is treatable. Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center professionals will identify your wound type, severity and the underlying cause. Then, your team will develop a plan to treat your wound using advanced techniques that aid healing.
What does hyperbaric oxygen therapy treat?
A non-healing wound is a wound that doesn’t heal within five to eight weeks. This happens despite following your provider's care instructions. A non-healing wound can be severe because it can become infected and lead to illness or even limb loss.
Here are some examples of non-healing wounds that can be successfully treated with HBOT.
Soft tissue damage due to radiation exposure. Radiation exposure kills soft tissues and stops them from regenerating – and healing – normally. This most commonly occurs after radiation therapy for cancer.
Diabetic wounds. Lower extremity wounds, such as leg and foot sores, can be caused by poor circulation, critical limb ischemia (a blockage in the arteries), diabetes and other medical problems.
Certain bacterial infections. Although rare, necrotizing fasciitis also known as flesh-eating bacteria, is an infection of the skin and underlying tissues that spreads quickly and aggressively. It causes tissue death at the infection site and can become life-threatening.
Bone infections. Infections can reach a bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue.
About Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center
Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center features two hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers at its state-of-the-art facility.
In addition to HBOT, the wound center offers:
- Various kinds of compression, negative pressure therapy and skin substitute options
- Offloading devices and footwear to reduce pressure and promote healing
- Education on proper wound care for patients and their caregivers
- Guidance on lifestyle changes to accelerate healing and prevent recurrences.
If you're concerned about a non-healing wound, talk to your doctor or call us today at 574-364-4560 to schedule an appointment.