News Center

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hyperbaric chamber accelerates, improves wound healing process

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – An estimated 5 million Americans live with non-healing and chronic wounds and specialized care often is the only pathway for treatment.

St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is now using a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to promote healing in wound care. The chamber is currently used at the Wound Care Institute to treat outpatients with chronic or hard-to-heal wounds.

The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is a clear, enclosed chamber that exerts atmospheric pressure to assist in the treatment of some wounds. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or the breathing of pressurized oxygen, has been shown to accelerate and improve the healing process and be a vital tool for those at risk for losing a limb.

The tank compresses the molecules in the air and allows the compressed oxygen to enter into smaller blood vessels and tissue that it would not normally be able to penetrate, thereby promoting healing.

Treatments typically last for 90 minutes at pressure, one time each day, five days a week, for six weeks. The treatments are ideal for patients with complicated wounds such as diabetic ulcers, post surgical foot wounds and bone infection.

During treatments, patients are able to watch television, listen to music, and speak with the clinician – or even sleep.

The institute also offers a second location at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville. .Both centers meet a full spectrum of patient needs with a wide range of specialized service, including the only program of its kind to treat diabetes foot and ankle problems and limb preservation.

To learn more about the Wound Care Institute at St. Francis, go to