By Sarrah Peters
Gadsden Regional Medical Center’s Wound Healing Center had its first hyperbaric oxygen therapy patient finish his treatment plan.
James Connor was the first patient to go through the center’s new treatment method.
Gadsden Regional Medical Center’s Wound Healing Center opened last August, but did not have the capabilities for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In December, the center moved downstairs into a new facility with hyperbaric oxygen chambers. The first treatment with the chamber was given December 28.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is known for its use in treating the bends, or decompression sickness, caused by rising too fast while diving. The treatment allows patients to breathe pure oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure. This allows the blood oxygen levels to rise. The higher blood oxygen levels increase blood flow to the affected areas. The therapy helps people with wounds that are healing slowly due to diabetes, compromised skin grafts and even the radionecrosis caused by radiation for cancer treatment, as well as several more conditions.
The need for specialized wound care is growing as rates of diabetes rise. Patients with diabetes have an ten-fold increased risk of amputation from chronic wounds.
The Wound Healing Center medical director is John H. Campbell, M.D., a Gadsden resident that has been a surgeon for more than 45 years and has worked in the wound healing field and with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for ten years. Steven M. Jackson, D.O., the co-medical director, is a Pennsylvania native that has been in the wound care field for 15 years. Jackson has practiced locally since August 2012.
The GRMC Wound Healing Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and is closed every day from 12 to 1 p.m. For more information, call the center at 256-413-6480.