Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital recently announced the opening of Memorial Hermann Wound Care, an outpatient center offering state-of-the-art wound care treatment options.
“Between five and seven million Americans experience at least one form of chronic wound annually and the incidence of these types of wound is increasing by approximately 10 percent each year,” said Donald E. Sprague, M.D., M.P.H., FAsMA, medical director at Memorial Hermann Southeast. “Many of these individuals suffer from wounds that refuse to heal despite conventional treatment. These chronic, non-healing wounds seldom involve a simple answer.”
Memorial Hermann Wound Care at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital provides a comprehensive approach to treating patients with chronic non-healing wounds. The highly-skilled team features affiliated physicians, nurses and technicians with advanced training in wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). The center’s patients are examined and evaluated for all possible physical conditions, such as diabetes, which could interfere with proper healing. The care team follows evidence-based clinical pathways to determine why wounds are not healing and then develops individual treatment plans, utilizing the most effective technologies available to provide maximum healing and relief.
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy plays an important role in wound healing,” said Dr. Sprague, who performed his residency at the U.S. Naval Aerospace Medical Institute and received training in HBOT at the Navy Dive School in Panama City, Florida. “It was originally developed for the treatment of decompression sickness in divers in the 1960s. However, the therapy is now used to treat a variety of medical conditions.” HBOT promotes healing by increasing the level of oxygen in the tissue and improving the healing efficiency of the white blood cells. Therapy is administered inside a hyperbaric chamber that delivers 100 percent oxygen with increased atmospheric pressure, stimulating the entire body’s natural healing responses. Patients undergoing therapy have complete privacy inside comfortable, individual chambers equipped with televisions and headphones for entertainment.
HBOT is especially beneficial for diabetic patients with non-healing ulcers, as well as those with arterial ulcers and other types of wounds that fail to respond to conservative therapy. In addition, HBOT treats conditions without open wounds, such as radionecrosis and osteoradionecrosis, osteomyelitis and idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Patients who are prescribed HBOT typically require treatment five days a week for twohour sessions. Each session requires 10 to 15 minutes to reach the necessary atmospheric pressure before a 90-minute treatment, and then another 10 to 15 minutes to return to normal atmospheric pressure.