Lourdes Burlington First in County to Offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Monday, August 11, 2008
WILLINGBORO -- Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County is the first hospital in Burlington County to offer hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy, which has proven effective to treat difficult-to-heal wounds and in support of many cancer treatments.
HBO therapy involves breathing 100 percent oxygen inside a chamber pressured to the equivalent of being 33 feet underwater. Normally, the air we breathe during normal activities contains 21 percent oxygen.
"By breathing 100 percent oxygen at a higher pressure, 20 times more oxygen travels through the bloodstream to injured organs and tissue, causing accelerated healing," said John W. Peterson, M.D., medical director of the Hyperbaric Medicine Program at the hospital.
HBO therapy is approved to treat a number of conditions, including decompression sickness ("the bends"), carbon monoxide poisoning, problem wounds (such as foot ulcers related to diabetes), bone infections called osteomyelitis and thermal burns.
"Hyperbaric therapy can help an acute, chronic or post-operative wound," said Dr. Peterson. "Wound care specialists can assess your need and determine your course of treatment."
In addition, numerous studies have demonstrated HBO therapy can have great benefit for the treatment of cancer. For instance, hyperbaric oxygen improves the body's sensitivity to chemotherapy and can help heal soft tissue radiation injuries of the head, neck, chest wall and breast.
Lourdes' hyperbaric chamber accommodates a single patient at a time. The chamber is clear so the patient, who is lying on his or her back, and the technician or physician maintain visual contact at all times. It also features an intercom system for two-way private conversation and audio input for patient entertainment.
Treatment plans vary according to individual, although most involve at least 20 sessions. Each therapy session typically lasts 90 minutes.
About Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County
Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County is a 249-bed community hospital in Willingboro. For more than four decades, the hospital has been committed to providing technologically advanced diagnostic and treatment options close to home, particularly to those most in need.
Specialty services include: the Lourdes Cancer Center; bariatric, or weight-loss surgery, certified as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Surgical Review Corporation; surgical services, including many minimally invasive procedures; orthopedics; maternity services; Lourdes Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey, a unit for long-term acute-care patients; wound care; a neurodiagnostic sleep lab; behavioral health services; and cardiology services.
Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County is part of the Lourdes Health System, and is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y. Lourdes is a member of Catholic Health East, a health system with 33 hospitals on the East Coast.
Editors and reporters: Tours of the hyperbaric medicine facility and interviews with specialists are available upon request. Photographs also are available.
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