Wellness Matters

Heal Your Wounds with Oxygen

November 12, 2014

By: Claire Sanger, MD
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Medical Director, Cone Health Wound Center

Did you know that more than 29 million people are living with diabetes in the U.S.? Of those, about 15 percent will develop an ulcer of the lower extremity. If left untreated, these ulcers can impair quality of life and may lead to amputation. But early detection and intervention can help to lessen the possibility of limb loss.

Cone Health Wound Care and Hyperbaric Centers offer advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers. If this type of wound hasn't begun to heal in two weeks, or is not completely healed in six weeks, a patient may benefit from the hyperbaric therapy.

What is Hyperbaric Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe treatment used in the healing of wounds. During treatment, a patient breathes 100 percent oxygen while in a clear pressurized chamber.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the bloodstream, and assists int he healing process of wounds. It can also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and improve circulation.

What kinds of wounds are treated with Hyperbaric Therapy?
The types of wounds that respond well to hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:

  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Neuropathic ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Burns
  • Chronic, non-healing wounds
Proper nutrition, diabetic management and lifestyle modification also play vital roles in a successful wound healing process.

It is vitally important that people with diabetes, their caregivers and physicians recognize the warning signs of diabetic foot ulcers and seek appropriate treatment promptly when an ulcer does occur.

Learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy offered at Wesley Long Hospital or Alamance Regional Medical Center.

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