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Specialists at Baylor Louise Gartner Center for Hyperbaric Medicine use oxygen therapy to treat hard-to-heal wounds associated with diabetes and diabetic neuropathy, soft-tissue damage from skin grafts, and cancer radiation therapy, as well as to help salvage limbs.
During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients breathe 100 percent pure oxygen at increased atmospheric pressures, which increases the oxygen levels in body tissue to aid in healing and fighting infection. The Comprehensive Wound Center program at Baylor Dallas has both a monoplace (single) and multi-place chambers.
Oxygen therapy is based on the fact that all human cells, tissues, and organs need oxygen to function, and that when there is a lack of oxygen, a number of health problems can occur. Along those lines, when concentrated oxygen is used in therapy for a patient, the goal is to enable cells to utilize the oxygen to begin or speed the healing process.
Some more frequent uses:
Diabetes and Diabetic Neuropathy
Over time, high blood sugar causes blood vessels to narrow and harden, reducing blood flow that is essential to the healing process. The combination of poor blood flow and diabetic neuropathy complicates wound recovery.
Limb Salvage and Crush Injuries
To prevent the loss of the limb and to preserve its function when an arm or leg is severely injured or crushed.
Soft Tissue Damage and Skin Grafts
Survival of the skin graft depends on adequate oxygen and blood flow in both the wound and the transplanted skin. Obstacles to healing may occur when underlying chronic conditions are present that may affect good circulation.
Delayed Radiation Injury
In some instances radiation-related injuries can occur months or even years after the treatment has concluded. Delayed radiation injury most commonly occurs when radiation is used to treat cancers of the head, neck, breast, chest and pelvis (gynecological cancers). It is characterized by the destruction of blood vessels and replacement of healthy tissue cells with a thick, fibrous tissue.
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