Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Treatment

Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Treatment

What is the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Weeks?

The new wound care center is a comprehensive treatment center providing state-of-the-art care for chronic wounds. It is the only wound center in the North Country. The wound care center is a member of the Healogics network, which is comprised of academic medical centers, hospitals and thousands of professionals committed to advancing wound healing by creating and sharing wound prevention and care expertise.

Why is a Wound Care Center needed?

There are more than eight million people in the United States suffering from chronic wounds. The incidence is rising, fueled by an aging population and increased rates of conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy. In addition to the need created by chronic wounds, the wound care center treats all type of wounds including trauma, surgical wounds, and burns.

What are chronic wounds?

Typical chronic wounds are open sores that are not healing. They may be diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections, radiation injuries to soft tissue and bone, compromised skin grafts and flaps as well as wounds that have not healed within 30 days.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

One of the features of the new wound center is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT is one of the most advanced therapies in the treatment of non-healing wounds. HBOT delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the blood stream and the wound bed, which rapidly accelerates the healing process. This therapy aids in wound closure, new tissue growth and wound tissue regeneration. HBOT may be used to treat diabetic ulcers, soft tissue radionecrosis, osteoradionecrosis, osteomyelitis and compromised skin grafts and flaps. HBOT also can be used to treat crush injuries, and is used in the treatment of many other conditions.

How is HBOT administered?

Weeks Medical Center has two hyperbaric chambers that are used in hyperbaric oxygen treatments. HBOT is administered in a comfortable environment and is attended by skilled and experienced technicians. While in the chamber patients can watch television while relaxing on a bed encased in a large see-through plastic shell as they are surrounded by 100 percent oxygen at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure. Typically the only sensation experienced is a slight pressure in the ears, as on an airplane, when the pressure changes.

What will I learn at the Wound Care Center?

Not only will you receive outstanding comprehensive wound care while at the wound care center, but you will also learn do-it-yourself care techniques for when you return home. Patient education is very important, and you will learn how to take care of your dressing and will be instructed in the use of any supplies needed for proper care. The nurses will review with you your doctor’s instructions and, most importantly, what to look for should problems develop.

What Weeks staff is involved in the Wound Care Center?

A team of wound care experts staffs the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Weeks. Director Ann Morin, RN, BSN, CHFN, manages the day-to-day operations with her staff. Weeks medical professionals include Dr. W. Kemp Schanlaber, Dr. Hal Goolman, Dr. Tara Soraghan, Dr. Lars Nielson, Angelo Vozzella, PA-C, and Anna Linglebach-Lorenz, PA-C.

How do I make an appointment or find out more information?

Appointments can be made either through your primary care physician or by calling 603-788-5625. The wound center is open Monday-Friday and is located in the hospital at 173 Middle Street, Lancaster, NH. For more information please go to weeksmedical.org

By Ann Morin, RN, BSN, CHFN

Ann Morin is a registered nurse and the director of the Weeks Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center. For more information or for an appointment, please call 603-788-5095.