It seems weird to me that hyperbaric medicine is as big a thing as it is; outside of its use for undersea decompression, I wouldn’t have guessed.
Bend Memorial Clinic added its third Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber in November. Since launching the program in July 2008, the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Department has performed over 500 treatments. BMC’s newest program includes outpatient care for individuals suffering with wounds that will not heal or have not responded to standard medical treatment.
“The Hyperbaric Department has added a Sechrist 3600 single occupancy hyperbaric chamber that can accommodate a patient weighing up to 700 pounds. Our third hyperbaric chamber allows us the flexibility to treat patients in a manner that is more flexible with their daily schedules. Prior to the arrival of the third chamber the Hyperbaric Staff and Physicians were often staying until midnight to treat our patients. We now have the opportunity to treat patients in three chambers and not have the patients forced to be here late in the evening.” Ryan T. Combs MS, EMT-P
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a medical treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen while inside a high-pressure air chamber. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been used for more than 40 years to help people recover from illnesses such as carbon monoxide poisoning. Today it is also used to treat certain non-healing wounds and several other medical conditions including patients suffering from chronic adverse effects of radiation treatments.
Studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can play an important role in the treatment of wounds such as foot ulcers, which sometimes occur in diabetic patients. Oxygen applied directly to body surface areas is not Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and is not considered standard treatment.
BMC is the only facility east of the Cascades to offer this service. Before offering this service, patients needing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy had to travel long distances for treatment.