This week I got to go to Centegra’s Wound-Hyperbaric facility on Rt. 47. I live near the building, but never understood what it served as.
Going into the rotation, I thought I was going to be seeing people using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). The therapy basically exposes the body to more oxygen in the blood, and it helps fight infections.
The facility did have them, but the nurses there said they use them about once a day. It is due to the fact that each patient has to qualify for them so the insurance has to pay. It is pretty difficult to qualify and so many patients want to use this therapy, but cannot due to the fact that nobody will pay for them.
The other part of the facility is seeing patients once a week, and treating their wounds. The wounds literally can range from a callus, to exposed bone. The nurses measure the wounds each week, and take pictures to measure progress. It is a great and easy way to show healing, or quite the opposite as well.
Even though the nurses see patients once a week, an infection or new wound can happen in that little time. The nurses also have to rely on the patients or other healthcare providers to treat them during the time when they are not being seen. This can either make the wound heal, or deteriorate even more depending on how responsible the patient is.
All of the wounds require cleaning, which can involve ointments, or antibacterial substances as well. Another interesting innovation I saw which I never thought about was collagen. Collagen is a protein that holds things together in the body, such as the skin. If a person has a wound where a hole is present, collagen can be the treatment to help growth of new skin to fill the crevice.
Lots of the wounds seemed very painful, but most of the patients did not seemed bothered, which I was surprised by. Either there was dead tissue, or the nerve endings were eliminated by the infection which was the reason they couldn’t feel the pain.
All of the nurses there were very comical with each other, me, and also the patients. The patients all seemed to crack a smile at the least when they were in the room.
Even though some of the things they had to do seemed gory to me, they weren’t fazed by it at all. They are all professional no matter how bad the wound, or the smell, which I find impressive.