Hyperbaric Treatment for Healing Wounds


Baptist Health Louisville: Hyperbaric Treatment for Healing Wounds

Wound care specialist Thomas O. Rumley, MD, describes how hyperbaric oxygen therapy works to heal wounds faster, lowering risk for infection and more serious conditions.

Hyperbaric Treatment for Healing Wounds Health Talks Transcript

Thomas O. Rumley, MD, Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine
Here at the Wound Care Center at Baptist Health Louisville, we see a variety of wound patients, most of which are semi-acute.

James Hollis
I had a laceration on my big right toe. It was infected fairly bad, and they were thinking that maybe I had a bone infection. I was fortunate enough to get Dr. Rumley. He [removed the debris], then bandaged it and put salve onto it. After the first couple of weeks, he wanted me to go in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Dr. Rumley
The hyperbaric oxygen treatment is limb salvaging for those who really do need it. In our centers, the patient gets into, basically, a large acrylic chamber. Then it’s closed, and oxygen is pumped into the chamber at 100 percent oxygen and at a higher pressure. The high pressure and the increased oxygen really force a lot more oxygen to the blood. It increases the oxygen to the tissue, providing nutrition and metabolism to the local tissue that is oxygen poor. After about the third week of the HBO treatment, we start seeing a marked reduction in the size of the wounds. From then on, it usually goes down to practically healed, if not healed, in another two or three weeks.

My podiatrist said that had I not had Dr. Rumley, I would have probably lost my toe, and that’s something I didn’t want to do.