Published on April 06, 2015

Nazareth Hospital Center specializes in treating hard-to-heal wounds

feet with flowersIt’s been said that time heals all wounds. But some wounds need more than time.

That’s where the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Nazareth Hospital comes in. The center helps people with chronic wounds get better.

What exactly is a chronic wound?

They are wounds that are slow to heal or don’t completely heal after four weeks. And there are many things that can cause or contribute to such wounds—for instance:

    • Pressure sores or ulcers
    • Soft tissue radiation injuries
    • Skin ulcers caused by diabetes, nerve damage or poor
    • blood flow
    • Infection

“We look for the underlying cause and try to correct that first,” says Bill Nolan, Program Director at Nazareth Hospital. Then attention shifts to treatment. There are many options, including protective dressings, artificial skin grafts and surgical intervention.

Some people also benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), a treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen while lying down in a transparent, pressurized chamber.

“The increased pressure in the chamber helps your red blood cells absorb more oxygen—giving them more power to heal your wound,” Nolan says.

HBOT can be particularly helpful for deep, diabetes-related wounds. It can also be effective for:

  • Wounds related to poor blood flow
  • Wounds that can follow radiation treatment
  • Skin grafts that show signs of failing
  • Osteomyelitis—an infection of the bone

What can I expect?

Typically, HBOT patients have two-hour treatments, five days a week for around six weeks. It’s a considerable commitment. But it can help heal wounds that were once considered untreatable.

With the knowledge, skill and compassion of our wound center team, we can help you too.