Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Now Available in Aberdeen
Jan 03, 2018 09:33AM ● Published by Digital Media Director
People with non-healing wounds in the Aberdeen area now have easier access to hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
Avera St. Luke’s Hospital recently installed recently installed two hyperbaric oxygen chambers, one of which is already being used at capacity. Chief Nursing Office Cory Geffre will lead the department and spoke to MED about the significance of the new equipment.
“What was happening is that patients who needed this treatment just weren’t getting it,” says Geffre. “These patients get 20 to 30 treatments, five days a week, at about 90 minutes per treatment. It is a little bit like dialysis in that respect.”
With the nearest hyperbaric chambers in Fargo, Sioux Falls or well into Minnesota, Geffre says patients within St. Luke’s 70-mile service area would likely have to relocate in order to take advantage of the healing power of HBOT, and many simply were not willing or able to do so.
“What makes me so passionate about being able to offer this here is that, without this type of treatment, some of these wounds progress to the point where theses patients need amputation,” says Geffre. “Hyperbaric treatment saves limbs.”
In Sioux Falls, board-certified hyperbaric physician Christopher Auvenshine, DO, now leads the HBOT program which has been in existence at Avera Mckennan Hospital & University Health Center since 1991. The therapy was made possible in Aberdeen in part by the relatively recent availability of on-site training, which allows smaller hospitals to avoid the expense of sending staff elsewhere for the 40+ hours of training on the equipment..
The hyperbaric chambers are housed in a newly-remodeled area of the hospital which features private changing areas. They are equipped with television and two-way communication.
HBOT isn’t just for wounds. There is new evidence that it may also help alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. We’ve got a link to the new study.