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Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Center offers hope, healing
Patient Justin Szalwinski (third from left) visits with the Connally Memorial Medical Center Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Center staff (l-r) Hyperbaric Technician Rick Cantu, LVN, HT; Wound Care Technician Emma Serna, EMT, HT; Medical Director Leonardo C. Profenna, MD, MPH; Clinical Nurse Manager Bernice Delgado, LVN, HT; and Program Director Marco Nicasio, RN, BSN, CHRN.
By Justin Szalwinski
Special to the Wilson County News
Nearly 6 million patients in America are affected by chronic wounds, costing the U.S. health-care system an estimated $20 billion annually.
Every year, more than 1 million people with diabetes will develop foot ulcers; 20 percent to 30 percent of those cases eventually will require amputation. Chief causes of breakdown in the wound-healing process include infection, tissue ischemia/hypoxia, inadequate local wound care, and unrelieved pressure.
Fortunately, the Connally Memorial Medical Center Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Center offers treatment options that can help heal chronic wounds, giving doctors, nurses, and physical therapists a proven resource in creating positive outcomes for patients.
Wounds commonly treated include pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, neuropathic ulcers, ischemic ulcers, venous insufficiency, burns, traumatic wounds, and non-healing surgical wounds.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HB02), allows patients to breathe 100-percent oxygen at two to three times greater than atmospheric pressure, administered on a daily basis. The result is an increase of 10 to 15 times in plasma oxygen concentration. This increase translates to arterial oxygen values of between 1,500 and 2,000 mmHg, which produces a four-fold increase in the defusing distance of oxygen from functioning capillaries.
Additionally, by forcing more oxygen into the tissue, hyperbaric oxygen therapy encourages the formation of new blood vessels. As these new blood vessels develop, the red blood cells start to flow, delivering even more oxygen to the affected areas. This creates the optimal environment for the body’s natural healing process to repair damaged tissue.
Approved indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy include acute burns, acute peripheral arterial insufficiency, carbon monoxide poisoning, chronic refractory osteomyelitis, compromised skin grafts and flaps, crush injury, diabetic ulcer of lower extremities, soft-tissue radionecrosis and osteoradionecrosis, and progressive necrotizing infection.
Connally Memorial Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Center is an outpatient program that focuses on chronic and non-healing wounds. Utilizing advanced treatment modalities and a case-management model, the center helps patients improve the quality of their lives. Working in conjunction with physicians, nurses, and multiple medical disciplines, the wound care center provides invaluable care for each patient to improve their healing outcome.
The center serves Atascosa, Karnes, Guadalupe, southern Bexar, and Wilson counties.
Justin Szalwinski is a resident of Falls City.
The Connally Memorial Medical Center Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Center is located in the Medical Office Building of the medical center, at 497 10th St. (U.S. 181) in Floresville.
Call 830-393-1730 with questions or for more information, or visit www.connallymmc.org.
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