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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Mar 16, 2017Health Focus

“Changing the lives of Idahoans—from wound care and traumatic brain injuries to post-traumatic stress disorders.”

For American Falls resident Kim Sweeney, a broken bone, countless surgeries due to her diabetes, and a fight with gangrene, were threatening to take both of her legs. When she wasn’t getting the care she needed or deserved to heal, she turned to the Idaho Doctors’ Hospital Healing Center & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (Healing Center).

The Healing Center, managed by BMH, is one of only a few hundred facilities of its kind in the nation, and was the first multi-person chamber in the state of Idaho. Since 1999, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been a valuable tool for physicians around the region. As a non-evasive, drug-free, and highly successful alternative method of healing for the human body, it has helped heal thousands of non-healing wounds, assisted individuals to regain their mobility, given hope to other incurable conditions, and, in many cases, saved lives.

Oxygen therapy also aids with the effects of mild to moderate chronic traumatic brain injury, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans and civilians, who have found conventional drug-based treatments ineffectual or even harmful.

“Inside the chamber, air pressure is raised above normal which increases the capacity of body fluid to carry oxygen,” says Jeff Ellis, director of the Healing Center. “When oxygen levels are increased, the white blood cells can kill bacteria, swelling is reduced, and the body’s oxygen requirements for healing are attained quickly.” With repeated treatments, the oxygen flow stimulates the body’s healing processes and allows most patients to experience rapid recovery of cognitive and neurological functioning without surgery or drugs.

What makes this wound care truly different is the use of LUNA Imaging, which provides clinicians with a real-time visual of the tissues that are and are not receiving blood and oxygen.

“What we have the ability to do is inject a dye into the blood stream, and then we are able to watch the blood flow into the extremity,” explains Mr. Ellis. “We are able to discern if there are any blood flow issues that are going to impede healing.” LUNA affords a more reliable assessment of tissue perfusion, shows that blood is getting to a desired end point, and quantifies the impact of wound healing techniques like hyperbaric treatment.”

“I was really nervous to switch from doctors and nurses who already knew my situation,” says Mrs. Sweeney. “But the minute I went to the Healing Center they showed me that they cared so much. They cared about me getting better every appointment. Once I started treatments it was a total 180. Shortly after my left limb was completely saved. No further infections. No open wounds. I think it was about two-and-one-half-weeks and they had saved my limb already.”

The Healing Center offers hope and healing for residents of the Intermountain West. To learn more or to schedule a tour, please call (208) 239-8080.

Idaho Doctors’ Hospital

Healing Center and Hyperbaric O2 Therapy

1125 W. Alameda Rd.

Pocatello, ID 83201

(208) 239-8080