“It was like dropping me into the ocean,” said Rhonda “Janie”
Dover, 62, of Evansville, as she described spending time in one of two
hyperbaric chambers in Methodist Hospital’s
Advanced Wound Healing Center.
Topher Edmondson, RN, WCC, Clinical Manager, Advanced Wound Healing Center,
explained, “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a state-of-the-art method
for treating chronic non-healing wounds, which involves breathing 100%
oxygen concentrated five times higher than normal air we breathe in a
sealed chamber. The chamber is pressurized to create two to three times
normal atmospheric pressure.
“Exposing a patient to these changes by immersing them in the hyperbaric
oxygen chamber can improve blood circulation and the blood’s ability
to deliver oxygen to the body.”
Dover first came to the Center in February 2016 for treatment after having
surgery following a cancer diagnosis. She had a hysterectomy along with
removal of lymph nodes. When the incision wasn’t healing, her doctor
referred her to the Advanced Wound Healing Center at Methodist Hospital.
Dover spent two hours at a time, Monday through Friday, for six weeks,
in the hyperbaric chamber, in order to speed healing of the surgical area.
“I’d get in there and go to sleep,” she said with a
laugh. “My husband, Ed, and I were thrilled that it was such a success!”
Following a series of radiation treatments, she returned to “take
a dive” into the glass tube again for a period of four weeks. “Skin
and underlying tissue that has become damaged as a result of radiotherapy
can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy,” Edmondson explained,
“and it proved very helpful to Mrs. Dover. It requires a commitment
from both the patient and family member, but the results are worth it.”
The use of hyperbaric oxygen has expanded from treating “the bends”
in scuba divers. Other than the indications for treatment following surgery
or radiotherapy, the hyperbaric oxygen chambers at Methodist Hospital’s
Advanced Wound Healing Center are most often used to aid in healing diabetic
ulcers that have failed other more conservative treatment methods.
The Advanced Wound Healing Center at Methodist Hospital is a member of
the Healogics network of nearly 800 Centers and was recognized nationally with the
Center of Distinction award for clinical excellence in 2016. In addition to hyperbaric therapy, treatments
offered include negative pressure wound therapy, debridement, application
of cellular-based tissue or skin substitutes to the wound and offloading
or total contact casts.
For more information, call the Advanced Wound Healing Center at 270-631-2399 or visit
PHOTO CAPTION: Rhonda “Janie” Dover poses with Abbey Sailer, RN, WCC, Advanced
Wound Healing Center, next to one of two hyperbaric chambers at Methodist
Hospital’s Henderson County Campus.