Wound Recovery / Hyperbaric Department
Traditional Spirit of Caring for People with Advanced Science & Technology
Every patient at the Meadville Medical Center (MMC) Wound Recovery / Hyperbaric Department is someone’s parent, sibling, or child. Every day, we see our patients and their loved ones, and we see that when a person has a chronic or non-healing wound, it affects family members, not just the patient. We emphasize the traditional spirit of caring for people along with natural healing and state-of-the-art science and technology.
Your loved one will need special care if he or she has a wound that will not heal. Changes are going to have to be made by every family member to help with this care. We deal with situations like this every day. Our team of professionals is dedicated to helping you or your loved one reach the best possible outcome. Our staff will help you understand the process of wound healing, describe and explain what is happening every step of the way, chart your loved one’s progress through the treatment process, and provide information and advice once the treatment is complete. Your loved one will need all the love, care, compassion, and help possible. We’ll do our part so you can do yours.
State-of-the-Art Wound Treatment
The Wound Recovery / Hyperbaric Department at Meadville Medical Center provides state-of-the-art treatments for all wounds.
Wounds are often the result of an underlying medical condition, such as:
- Venous insufficiency
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Autoimmune disease
- Factors associated with immobility
The staff of the Wound Recovery / Hyperbaric Department offers an interdisciplinary approach to treating wounds. The Wound Recovery Team brings together board-certified specialists in orthopedic and vascular surgery, enterostomal therapy, podiatry, family medicine, infectious diseases, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. All the nursing staff members are certified wound specialists who have completed advanced studies and passed an extensive examination. The team can also, if appropriate, give referrals for orthotics, dietary guidelines, physical therapy, pain control, home health care, and orthopedic foot and ankle care.
Initial Wound Assessment
Patients initially undergo a complete wound assessment to identify the underlying cause of the wound and a treatment plan is devised. When necessary, consultations in vascular intervention, diabetic and nutrition education, infectious disease, orthotics, and compression therapy, as well as other disciplines, are readily available. We work directly with primary physicians or referring physicians to keep them informed of patients’ progress. There are many factors that impact the healing of wounds. Diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, poor circulation, and medications are just a few of the many existing conditions that can slow down or stop the healing of wounds.
Wound Treatment & Services
Wound healing is a complex process involving the patient, the family, the environment, and the healthcare professional. The skilled physicians and staff of the Wound Recovery / Hyperbaric Department at MMC provide a comprehensive program designed to heal the wounds, educate the patient and prevent recurrence. The same nurse provides primary nursing and case management throughout a patient’s treatment. Inpatient care by the same skilled wound care staff guarantees a continuum of care for optimal healing potential.
Types of wounds treated include:
- Arterial and/or venous
Available services include:
- Initial complete assessment and treatment plan with the first visit
- Follow-up visits per individual patient needs
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Vascular / Laboratory studies
- Surgical procedures
- Protection / Off-loading
- Selective wound dressings
- Infection control
- Ongoing patient follow-up
- Letters to referring physicians
- Lymphedema management
- Total contact casting
- Enterostomal / OstomyTherapy
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
The air we breathe contains 21% oxygen. This can be increased to 100% if we breathe oxygen via a mask or hood. The body’s oxygen supply can be increased by a further two or three times by entering a hyperbaric chamber and receiving 100% oxygen at increased pressure. Oxygen delivered in this manner can be “dissolved” into the bloodstream and body tissues at a far greater rate by using pressure. The oxygen will be administered as a series of treatments and for permanent effect, the entire series of treatments must be completed. These treatments take about two hours and are delivered daily, Mondays through Fridays.
Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Patients who have undergone hyperbaric oxygen therapy for difficult to heal wounds have shown favorable results. They are more likely to heal and less likely to lose a limb to amputation.
Other benefits on hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:
- Increasing oxygen helps tiny new blood vessels to grow in all the affected tissues. As more blood vessels grow, more oxygen rich blood can reach the wound.
- This treatment decreases swelling (edema) around the wound. Decreasing swelling allows the blood to flow more freely to the area, bringing oxygen with it.
- High oxygen levels increase the ability of the “infection-fighting” cells (white blood cells) to kill any offending bacteria that may be in the area. By “cleaning up” this site, healing has a better chance of occurring.