Inside the CVMC Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbarics, patients lie
in an enclosed, clear, cylindrical chamber. Although they look as if they
are enjoying a day of rest and relaxation – watching television
or napping – they are undergoing a series of oxygen therapy treatments
for a variety of serious conditions.
On average, the air we breathe daily is about 21% oxygen. Wounds need oxygen
to heal properly, and exposing a wound to 100% oxygen can dramatically
speed the healing process. Typically administered in a special type of
chamber called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, patients are completely immersed
in 100% oxygen, which is then carried throughout the body. This helps
fight bacteria by improving immune system function, thereby stimulating
healthy cells and accelerating the body’s natural healing process.
Reasons for having hyperbaric treatment procedures
A number of evidence-based practices show that hyperbaric oxygen therapy
speeds wound healing for many types of wounds. Research shows that it’s
- Diabetic ulcers
- Radiation injuries
- Soft tissue infections
- Failed skin grafts and flaps
- Chronic Osteomyelitis (bone infections)
Particularly important to diabetic patients, hyperbaric oxygen therapy
is an effective healing treatment for wounds that reduces the risk for
During the procedure
The CVMC Wound Care Center currently has two hyperbaric oxygen chambers
and is currently in the process of adding and additional chamber. Here
is what usually happens during a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session:
- Patients are asked to remove clothing and wear a medical gown that is 100
- Patients lie on a table that slides into the chamber, which is a clear
plastic tube that’s about 7 feet long.
- Patients relax and breathe normally during the procedure while they can
watch TV or listen to music.
- Patients may talk to the clinical therapist at any time during the treatment
while the therapist can see patients and talk to them at all times
- The chamber is sealed and then filled with pressurized oxygen.
- A typical session will last up to two hours.
- After the therapy, technicians will slowly depressurize the chamber.
About the Center
The Catawba Valley Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbarics includes a
panel of four physicians. Dr. Alan Keys, General Surgery (Medical Director),
Dr. Christopher Griggs, Vascular Surgery; Dr. Lindsay Bools, Vascular
Surgery; and Dr. Ronald Locke, General Surgery. Our approach provides
our patients with a broad spectrum of medical expertise. Our entire medical
staff has also attended an extensive wound and hyperbaric oxygen certification
program. The costs associated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy prescribed
by our trained physicians are reimbursable through Medicare, Medicaid,
and most commercial insurers. For more information or to make an appointment,
please contact the center located at 1501 Tate Medical Commons, Suite
105 in Hickory at (828) 485-1924. A physician referral is not required.