St. Anthony Hospital has a new service, along with state of the art technology, to help people suffering from non-healing wounds.
On Sept. 17, the hospital officially opened its Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, and on Oct. 3 had a ribbon cutting and blessing for the new center within the Lakewood hospital.
The majority of patients at the center have poor circulation, diabetes or long term immobilization and suffer from chronic open wounds and diabetic, pressure and circulation related ulcers. The center also treats wounds from traumatic injury and non-healing surgical incisions.
The center’s medical director, Dr. Craig Reynolds, said the idea for starting a center at St. Anthony came from the success at St. Anthony North.
“We’re here to preserve limbs and quality of life for patients,” he said. “This is a problem that’s not going away.”
The center was made possible with a partnership from Healogics, which specializes in the field. The agreement between the two groups was made in March, and it took six months to get the center up and running.
“This is one of only four wound care centers in the state with HBO (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) capacity,” said Becky Ashmore-Sanchez, program director at the center. “We have five treatment rooms with pediatric chairs, and have a monoplaced hyperbaric chamber.”
The hyperbaric chamber gives the patient 100-percent pressurized oxygen, which helps blood nutrients and strengthens the body’s antibiotics. A session in the chamber typically lasts about two hours.
According to Ashmore-Sanchez, most patients who visit the center will need between 40 and 60 sessions to complete their care.
“The treatment patients receive here helps to eradicate infections and fight loss of limb,” she said. “It’s a huge commitment of time, but really worth it for these patients.”
Jack Marquess, vice president of development with Healogics, said that many people don’t realize how high the number of people who need this kind of treatment are.
“There are estimates that there are around 8 million people who need this treatment, but only 1 million of them are receiving any care,” he said. “We work really hard with primary care doctors, so that they see this kind of treatment as another opportunity for their patients.”
Marquess said the thing that really differentiates this center is the physicians involved and the support of the hospital.
For more information on the Wound Center, visit www.stanthonyhosp.org/woundcare.