August 31 2006 - New Wound Care Treatment

For Immediate Release         August 31, 2006

     John Moore
     Media Relations


TYLER, TX - Nearly five million Americans suffer from chronic nonhealing wounds, including an estimated 2.5 million of the 16 million people with diabetes, who will develop foot or leg ulcers as a result of neuropathy, or nerve damage, a complication of the disease.

Patients seeking relief from the pain of chronic wounds have a new treatment available at The Wound Care Center at Mother Frances Hospital: oxygen. Oxygen may sound simple, but the delivery is highly advanced. It's called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Wound Care Center officials said a new hyperbaric oxygen chamber, in which patients are surrounded in 100 percent oxygen at two to three times atmospheric pressure, is installed and will be operational on Wednesday.

"Chronic wounds can be painful and life disrupting and hyperbaric oxygen therapy is another way to promote healing and bring relief to patients who suffer from them," said Maxine Theriot, MD, medical director, The Wound Care Center, Mother Frances Hospital. "The air that we normally breathe is about 21 percent oxygen. The high-intensity oxygen provided through hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen circulated to body tissues through a patient's blood. Oxygen-enriched blood has been proven to help in preserving damaged tissues, increased blood vessel formation, infection control and ultimately wound healing."

"The Wound Care Center at Mother Frances Hospital opened in July, 2005 and has provided wound care services for over 300 chronic wound patients and achieved an 87% Healing rate," added Dr. Theriot, MD. "This additional equipment will be a big plus for our patients and their successes."

"While hyperbaric oxygen therapy is utilized for a variety of medical conditions, it has been clinically proven to promote wound healing as part of comprehensive treatment regimen," said Troy Overbeek, DPM, a podiatrist with Trinity Clinic-Podiatry who successfully treats many of his patients at The Wound Care Center at Mother Frances Hospital.

When a patient's care indicates hyperbaric oxygen therapy is necessary, it is used as part of a comprehensive wound treatment regimen for patients with diabetes or circulatory problems that can lead to injuries, sores, chronic infections or gangrene.

Patients treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy are placed in a sealed hyperbaric chamber that is pressurized for periods between 90 to 120 minutes. The treatments are typically performed five times per week for less severe wounds and up to twice daily for more severe conditions.

The hyperbaric chamber used at The Wound Care Center is operated under the supervision of a physician specialist and specially trained nurses and technicians.

The chamber has sophisticated features that provide for patient safety and comfort including television viewing or listening to music during treatment.

Early hyperbaric oxygen therapy was developed in the late 1800s and was primitive. It was first used to treat decompression sickness ("the bends") in deep-sea divers who swam up to the surface too fast.

For more information about the comprehensive treatment call The Wound Care Center at Mother Frances Hospital at 903-531-5788. The Wound Management Program at Mother Frances Hospital is affiliated with Wound Care Centers, Inc., a nationwide leader and network of wound care specialists. Wound Care Centers, Inc offers comprehensive, interdisciplinary wound management through individualized, aggressive treatment programs, and have treated more than 1.5 million wounds nationwide.

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John Moore
Media Relations
Phone 531-4542
Fax 525-1206