Canton, Ohio: Since 1986, Mercy Medical Center has helped patients heal chronic wounds and treat other health conditions through the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) therapy. With the acquisition of a BARA-MED® XD computerized monoplace hyperbaric oxygen chamber, Mercy becomes the only hospital in Stark, Summit, Wayne, Homes and Tuscarawas Counties to offer this patient-friendly chamber, which improves patient comfort and healing.
Improved Patient Comfort
With a larger chamber, MED® XD is more comfortable for claustrophobic and obese patients. The new chamber can hold up to 700 pounds, where as older chambers were built to hold a patient weighing up to 300 pounds.
“Our patients are more comfortable and can now have their heads elevated,” says Joe Snyder, RN, CHT, program coordinator of Mercy Hyperbaric Medicine Unit.” With 23 years of experience, Snyder is one of the area’s most experienced hyperbaric oxygen therapy operators. “Our patients can stretch out, put their arms over their heads, fully flex their legs, and roll over much more easily,” he says.
“It’s like comparing a Pinto to a Cadillac,” says Dennis L. Newman, a Canton resident and patient at Mercy Hyperbaric Medicine Unit. “It doesn’t even feel like you’re enclosed, because it is so much bigger.”
Another advantage for patients is the chamber’s SMOOTH-RIDE pressure-change technology. This specialized software reduces the risk of complications due to middle ear and sinus barotraumas during compression. During decompression, this technology reduces the risk of air trapping in cases of potential obstructive or restrictive pulmonary conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and emphysema. One recent patient commented, “I couldn’t even feel the pressure build in my ears.”
Other patient-friendly features include the chamber’s high definition TV, temperature control and quiet operation. Older versions of chambers were loud, and the operator sometimes had difficulty hearing the patient if he had problems. “The new chamber operates so quietly, that I have to keep checking to make sure it is on,” Snyder says. “This makes it much easier to communicate with the patient during treatment.”
What is HBO Therapy?
HBO therapy is a medical treatment where the entire body is enclosed and exposed to 100 percent oxygen at a pressure that is about two and a half times greater than the pressure of the atmosphere. “The treatment promotes healing by increasing the oxygen-delivery pressure to the affected or injured tissue over time,” Snyder says.
HBO therapy has been proven to be an adjunct treatment for:
- Diabetic wounds
- Failed skin grafts and flaps
- Radiation tissue injuries
- Necrotizing infections (flesh-eating bacteria infection)
- Gas gangrene
- Acute traumatic ischemias (trauma, circulatory occlusions)
- Chronic refractory osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Air gas embolism
- Decompression sickness
- Carbon monoxide poisoning (
- Exceptional blood loss anemia
- Meleny ulcers
- Actinomycosis (flesh-eating yeast infection)
“Our largest patient populations being treated at Mercy are diabetics with lower extremity wounds and patients suffering from late effects of radiation therapy,” Snyder says. Mercy Hyperbaric Medicine Unit also sees a large population with bone infections and acute ischemias. For more information, call 330-489-1393, or visit cantonmercy.org.
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.