To Dive, or not to Dive, that is the Question

By: Al Murji, M.S., PA-C, Clinic Director

WARNING! GRAPHIC PHOTOS BELOW!

Typically, when people think of wounds, what immediately comes to mind are horrifying, disgusting, and grotesque examples. Indeed, when you have worked in wound care long enough you see your fair share of horrible lesions, abrasions, cuts, incisions, and everything else you can imagine. These wounds cause discomfort for many people, and they often wonder how long it will take for them to heal.

Alas, many people do not realize or even know about the benefits and uses of hyperbaric medicine. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) are used to treat many different medical issues; however, when people hear the word hyperbarics they immediately think of The Bends and other problems related to diving. HBOT is great for treating decompression sickness (The Bends) but there are many more applications for this medical technology including the treatment of non-healing wounds.

In medicine, there is a history of practical applications that support the idea that wounds require enough oxygen to heal properly. Medical professionals have found that when they placed patients in a hyperbaric chamber, their wounds responded very well to the increased pressure and oxygen thus healing faster. Below are examples of the kinds of wounds that can be treated with hyperbaric chambers offered by our clinics.

This is what people usually picture when they think of wounds—open, large, & grossly infected. We treat a lot of these kinds of wounds and they do very well with HBOT.

Additionally, we also treat wounds like these:

These types of wounds are not big or wide open but still can be treated using HBOT. Typically, these wounds respond very well.

Even small diabetic foot ulcers/wounds that are not healing well or that are slow to heal (see below) do very well and finally heal with the use of HBOT.

HBOT can also be applied to surgical wounds that may not be healing fast enough or have a slight opening or small infection like the following:

or these.

In response to the question, “To dive or not to dive?” the answer is a definite yes! While wounds may heal on their own, the benefits to patients using HBOT for treatment is evident. So, whether your wound is big or small, wide open or just barely open, extremely infected or just slightly infected, R3 Hyperbarics and Wound Care can help figure out a treatment plan that will offer you the best possible outcome for a fast, friendly, and effective healing process! Come in and see us for all your wound care needs!