Miraculous results achieved with hyperbaric treatment
SAN ANTONIO - Healing from an injury can be tough, but doctors are now seeing amazing results with the use of a hyperbaric chamber, where an injured person is treated with 100% oxygen in a pressurized room. Now the Brooke Army Medical Center is the only hospital in the world building an entire wing dedicated to hyperbaric treatment.
Construction is almost completed, and hyperbaric chambers are being installed. It’s part of a massive Army and Air Force partnership to help treat patients having a hard time healing.
“We are the only level one trauma center in the Department of Defense, so we tend to take care of very sick, very complex patients,” explained Col. Joseph Paulino.
Col. Paulino is the acting deputy commander of surgical services for the US Army. He says these hyperbaric stations at can treat patients 24/7.
“This is sort of a one stop shop,” said Paulino. “We have everything necessary to take care of those patients.”
Patients range from burn victims with open wounds, carbon monoxide poisoning, to veterans who suffered a serious combat injury.
“In terms in the actual healing process, it's absolutely phenomenal,” said Col. Rachel LeFebrvre.
Col. LeFebvre is the commander of the 59th Medical Operations Group for the Air Force. She says it works when patients are exposed to 100-percent oxygen in a pressurized room. The confined chambers enable the body to absorb the oxygen, and in turn, heal faster.
The difference is miraculous.
“It could be something where someone's wound never heals, to where a wound actually heals within one week to six weeks,” said LeFebrvre.
It's all done naturally; fighting infection, bacteria and aiding red blood cells to help in the recovery process.
The wing is expected to open by later this spring at a cost of around $12 Million. Thousands of veterans and their families, along with trauma patients, are expected to use the facilities every year.