R3 Wound Care supplies state-of-the-art hyperbaric drugs

A affected person rests comfortably, watching TV on a display suspended barely above and in of entrance of her, whereas mendacity on her again in an acrylic hyperbaric chamber. The chamber, which delivers pure oxygen at twice the strain of air within the surrounding room, appears like a protracted clear tube. It comes full with phone connections permitting the affected person to speak with the skin world.

That is the scene at R3 Wound Care and Hyperbarics, situated within the rising cluster of medical services behind HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood hospital. The free-standing facility, which opened its door final February, provides quite a lot of therapies to sufferers affected by continual wounds that refuse to heal.

“We now have sufferers which have continual wounds that haven’t been therapeutic for weeks to months, generally years,” medical director Dr. R. Todd Husby mentioned in an interview. “We specialise in making an attempt to supply a greater setting for wound therapeutic that features no matter it takes to enhance blood circulation to the affected space.”

The power provides essentially the most superior therapies for wound care, an space of medication that has seen quite a few vital advances lately, Husby mentioned.

“We’ve gone from the outdated days the place we used wet-to-dry dressings; we used saline soaked gauze and after that dried, they might rip that off,” he mentioned. Any such bandage was supposed to maintain the wound clear and take the micro organism off with the removing of the dressing, but it surely additionally stripped off the wholesome cells as nicely, extending the time it will take for the wound to heal.

“It’s been an enormous scientific growth to find new wound dressings which are antibacterial and supply the fitting setting for the injuries to heal,” Husby mentioned. The newer dressings can defend the wound for per week, whereas the older varieties of dressing needed to be modified on daily basis, slowing the therapeutic course of.

Nonetheless, the largest advance in wound care in current a long time has been the event of hyperbaric drugs, which entails placing the affected person right into a chamber, the place they’re uncovered to 100% oxygen at two atmospheres of strain. This remedy will increase the extent of oxygen that dissolves within the blood, which accelerates the therapeutic course of.

Husby mentioned that throughout the final 30 or so years, hyperbaric drugs has gone from an unique fringe remedy to a cornerstone remedy for wound care. “Once I first began in 1994, I believed this was type of voodoo drugs. However, once I began seeing how hyperbarics makes these wounds heal, it’s simply been an incredible factor.”

In some instances, hyperbaric therapies have been used to encourage the regrowth of bone tissue following surgical procedure to take away contaminated tissue. In different instances, hyperbaric therapies have helped sufferers save severely injured fingers and toes, which in any other case would have needed to be amputated. In different sufferers, the expertise has helped them recuperate from problematic cosmetic surgery operations.

“Their wounds would type of collapse, simply because there wasn’t a superb oxygen provide. We are able to get these wounds to re-heal,” he mentioned.

As a result of hyperbaric therapies are costly – on common $4,000 to $5,000 per session – insurance coverage corporations have strict qualification necessities for would-be sufferers. For instance, a affected person should have suffered from a wound that might not heal for at the least 30 days.

The power accepts most main insurance policy, together with Medicare. For these sufferers whose therapies aren’t lined by insurance coverage, the power provides an inexpensive cash-payment possibility and fee plans.

Nicole Bradley, a nurse practitioner on the facility, mentioned for the reason that starting of the 12 months, R3 Wound Care has been ready for quite a few insurance coverage approvals, nearly all of that are for hyperbaric drugs therapies. “We see sufferers with radiation burns, diabetic ulcers, a whole lot of post-surgical wounds and trauma wounds,” she mentioned.

Hyperbaric therapies sometimes final about two hours and sufferers obtain therapies 5 days per week. “We’ll see marked enchancment after about 20 therapies and sometimes we’ll go to about 30 or 40 therapies,” Husby mentioned.

On daily basis, medical personnel on the facility see from 4 to 5 hyperbaric sufferers and a couple of dozen sufferers receiving non-hyperbaric wound care. However Husby mentioned as a result of the Kingwood facility is comparatively new, it nonetheless has a whole lot of room to develop its affected person depend.

Usually, R3 Wound Care’s demographics skew towards older sufferers, who usually tend to endure from blood-flow issues. “More often than not, we’re seeing diabetic sufferers. For quite a lot of causes, diabetic sufferers have very poor circulation, getting blood circulation to tissue,” he mentioned.

“We do see a whole lot of sufferers which have developed venous statis ulcers, the place blood simply swimming pools of their legs,” Husby mentioned. “Quite a lot of older sufferers will get these ulcers that take weeks and weeks to heal up.”

Youthful sufferers are usually people who’ve suffered from traumatic amputations or crush accidents. “We’ve had one gunshot wound,” he mentioned ruefully.

Since R3 Wound Care is an unbiased facility, not affiliated with any hospital, its affected person depend depends on referrals from physicians and sufferers who refer themselves. “We do rely quite a bit on referrals from major care docs, similar to podiatrists who see a whole lot of diabetic wounds, and vascular surgeons who’ve finished a bypass to enhance blood circulation,” Husby mentioned.

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