Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Saves Lives and Limbs
Non-healing wounds, if not treated, can lead to limb amputation or much worse. The Comprehensive Wound Healing/Hyperbaric Center at Chilton Hospital offers hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy to accelerate the healing process. HBO therapy increases the concentration of oxygen in the blood in order to speed cell repair. This groundbreaking treatment is also used for patients with carbon monoxide poisoning, cyanide poisoning, decompression sickness, thermal burns and various other ailments.
"During treatment, all you have to do is relax in a transparent chamber and breathe as you normally would," explained Manager of Comprehensive Wound Healing/Hyperbaric Center Sue Becker, RN. "It's completely painless and non-invasive." Mary Lillo is living testament of this claim. The 81-year-old lifetime Paterson resident developed serious bedsores on her legs while staying at another area hospital. After the sores refused to heal, she consulted Chilton Internal Medicine Specialist Ayman Eraiba, M.D., who suggested she try HBO therapy. If it weren't for his suggestion, the wounds may have progressed until amputation was needed.
"I was scared in the beginning because I've never heard of it before and I thought it was going to be like an MRI," said Mary. "I was fine once I went in. There was no pain and there's plenty of room to turn around or move over. And, you have a TV and music if you want it, or you can just rest and sleep, so time goes by fast. It was a good experience. I'm glad I did it. It's a beautiful hospital and I can't say enough about it. The nurses go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. If I have to go back to the hospital for treatment, I'd sooner make the extra trip to Chilton."
Mary began HBO therapy treatment in October 2008. She completed 50 sessions at an hour and a half each and was finished by Christmas Eve. Mary had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Eraiba about a month later. The diagnosis indicated that she was healing quite well. "I would recommend it for anyone," said Mary. "The staff at the center was very caring. Dr. Eraiba is exceptional. He doesn't give up. He'll try anything to see if he can help."
Mary was fortunate that she was able to receive care right away for her wounds. Tina Koster, of Pompton Plains, wasn't pointed in the right direction after her injury. She didn't immediately seek help after bumping her head on a kitchen cabinet because she wasn't in any pain. Instead, the 87-year-old toughened native of war-torn Holland wrapped her wound in a towel until the bleeding stopped. She eventually visited her physician who didn't think the wound was severe enough for further treatment. Many months later, the wound did not heal.
Tina went for a second opinion after much coaxing by family members. Once MRI results were viewed, her physician told her to go immediately to Chilton Hospital. There, she met Dr. Eraiba who started Tina on an HBO therapy regimen five days per week, two hours per day, for a total of 60 sessions.
"It did a world of good for me because my wound is healing very well," Tina said. "The hospital is very lucky to have Dr. Eraiba. He is such a nice man and he is very gifted in his field. And, the nurses are fantastic. I have nothing else to say but good things about the hospital. Dr. Eraiba and the staff were very helpful in getting me through the 60 treatment sessions. If it weren't for their words of encouragement and their persistent care, I don't know if I could have made it."
If you have a stubborn wound that won't heal, don't neglect it. Infections can get into your bloodstream and cause more serious problems. For more information about the Comprehensive Wound Healing/Hyperbaric Center, or to schedule an appointment, call (973) 831-5303.