Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686, released June 24, 2013 | Aug 30, 2013
YRMC Launches Northern Arizona’s First Hyperbaric Medicine Program
The Advanced Wound Care Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) recently launched Northern Arizona’s first Hyperbaric Medicine program.
“The purpose of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to repair and rebuild,” said YRMC’s Greg Mann, MS, CHT, Director, Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine.
YRMC’s two new hyperbaric chambers—the core of the Hyperbaric Medicine program—are already improving the lives of many area residents. Located in YRMC’s recently expanded Advanced Wound Care Center, 3262 N. Windsong Drive in Prescott Valley, the hyperbaric chambers allow Northern Arizona residents to stay close to home for treatments.
“This is important because hyperbaric therapy can last two hours a day for up to six weeks,” Mann said.
YRMC’s “monoplace” hyperbaric chambers are designed for one person. They’re pressurized with pure oxygen that the patient breathes directly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy temporarily increases the amount of oxygen the blood can carry to injured tissue. This promotes healing and fights infection for a diverse list of conditions, including:
- bone infections;
- diabetic ulcers;
- embolisms (blockages in the bloodstream);
- non-healing wounds;
- radiation tissue damage; and
- other conditions.
The tube-shaped hyperbaric chambers are 34 inches in diameter and 7-feet long. The chambers include clear acrylic which allows patients to see out during treatment sessions. During these sessions, patients are continuously monitored by YRMC’s nurses and therapists.
“We’re very cognizant of both patient comfort and patient safety,” said Mann. “We talk about the importance of wearing 100 percent cotton clothing during hyperbaric therapy sessions. We teach patients how to clear their ears as the air pressure increases in the chamber. We do everything we can to prepare people for the therapy sessions and to reduce any anxiety.”
Physicians involved with YRMC’s Hyperbaric Medicine program are certified in hyperbaric oxygen therapy by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society while nurses and therapists are certified by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology. Certification means these professionals have participated in comprehensive training that covers the physiology of hyperbaric therapy, its side effects, how to recognize patients who could benefit from hyperbaric therapy and more. Additionally, the Hyperbaric Medicine team collaborates with other YRMC healthcare professionals, emphasizing healthy habits that complement the healing therapy. For example, diabetes educators work with patients to discuss the importance of controlling blood sugar levels.
“We look at the whole person, including his or her nutritional status and lifestyle habits,” Mann said. “Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking, they’re all important to the healing process.”
A physician’s order is required for outpatient hyperbaric oxygen therapy. For more information, contact Greg Mann at (928) 771-4788.