Riverview Regional Medical Center has completed an expansion and upgrade
to its Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Center. The move replaces
the Center’s original hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) chambers with
new state of the art units and adds a third, making a total of three available
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is leading edge treatment for difficult
wounds, and we are very happy to put these new units into service at the
Center,” said Charles L. Newman, M.D., FACC, Medical Director of
the Riverview Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center. “The new chambers
are larger than the previous ones, and adding a third chamber means we
can both treat more patients and decrease time spent on the waiting list.”
For some patients, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an effective treatment
to supplement other treatment methods for wounds that do not heal well.
During the treatments, patients breathe 100 percent oxygen, which increases
the presence of oxygen within the wound and aids in healing and growth
of new tissue. Air found normally in the environment contains only 21
While in the chamber, patients may listen to music, watch TV, or even take
a nap. Some patients may experience a sensation of fullness in the ears
during certain parts of the treatment, similar to when driving up or down
a mountain. This is caused by the response of the eardrums to changes
in pressure within the chamber. The Center staff teaches several easy
methods of avoiding ear discomfort before treatment.
Treatment schedules are customized for each patient, and may require 20
to 30 treatments for maximum benefit. Outpatients are normally treated
once a day, five or six days a week.
While any wound that doesn’t heal on its own in thirty days should
be examined by a specialist, the three most common chronic non-healing
wounds treated with HBO therapy include pressure ulcers, diabetic foot
ulcers, venous leg wounds or ulcers, and ulcers resulting from arterial disease.
Pressure ulcers occur when soft tissue is pressed between a bony area and
another surface for a long time. Because diabetes affects many body systems,
persons with the disease may be more likely to experience foot infections
and wounds. Venous disease is the most common of diseases that can cause
ulcers on the lower parts of the legs. Arterial disease can also cause
lower-leg ulcers which are hard to heal because of reduced blood flow
to the wound.
HBO therapy is also used in the treatment of the negative effects of radiation,
including damage to the jaw in former cancer patients (osteoradionecrosis),
and bone infections (osteomyelitis).
In addition to Dr. Charles Newman, the Center’s highly experienced
medical staff includes Lucian Newman, Jr., MD, specialist in General,
Vascular Surgery, and Wound Care and former Chief of Staff at Riverview
Regional, Steven Bayer, MD, Wound Care Specialist, and General Surgeon
William Beekley, MD. All nurses at the Center are trained and certified
in wound care and HBO therapy accredited by the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society.
Referrals are not required for treatment at the Center and treatment is
covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. The Center is open from
7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Riverview Regional’s wound care specialists offer state-of-the-art
care, from diagnosis to state of the art technology, treatments, education,
and rehabilitation. To learn more, go to www.riverviewregional.com and
click on Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center under Other Locations or phone