JRMC has State's Only Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chamber
Posted by KSJB News on 2/2/2017 8:14:00 AM.

JAMESTOWN – (Abigail Maki) - Jamestown Regional Medical Center launched the first hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber in the state this past fall.

In hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), patients enter a special chamber and breathe concentrated oxygen. The pure oxygen fills the blood and helps repair tissues. HBOT helps patients suffering from chronic wounds, diabetic wounds, burns and infections.

The need for chronic wound care is growing,” said Randy Perkins, FNP for JRMC’s Wound Center. “Caring for wounds that won’t heal is costly for patients and insurance programs.”
According to the National Institute of Health, chronic wounds affect more than 6.5 million patients in the U.S. each year. Those individuals and their insurance providers spend more than $25 billion on treatment. Operating part-time only, JRMC’s Wound Center helped over 300 people in 2016.With the national and local demand for wound care growing, JRMC increased its staff to meet the demand and expects patient numbers to grow in 2017 as the available therapies expand.

HBOT therapy is useful for conditions including: bone infections, ulcers, anemia and gangrene.

People with diabetes and vascular disease struggle with circulation to the lower extremities,” said Amanda Lausch, FNP at the JRMC Wound Center. “HBOT is an option for them – an option that may save their limb from amputation. That makes a huge impact on a person’s quality of life.”

JRMC is also developing treatment options for injuries like carbon monoxide poisoning and chemotherapy radiation burns. “HBOT is a common form of therapy for firefighters, coal miners and cancer patients” Lausch said.

Candidates for HBOT have tried other therapies without satisfactory results. Unfortunately, HBOT is often seen as a last-resort and shouldn’t be.

Some wounds won’t heal even after three or four years," she said. "Without appropriate care at a Wound Center, they may never heal."

After North Dakota, the nearest places to receive HBOT are Montana, Minnesota and South Dakota. In addition to geography, another barrier to care is insurance. Medicaid, Medicare and insurance companies cover HBOT in most cases, but it can still be a barrier for some patients. Patients interested in HBOT should contact the wound clinic at (701) 952- 4878.

For more information, visit www.jrmcnd.com or call 952-4878.

Provided by CBS News