In the fall of 2014, Roger Thurber (third from the left), of New Salem, MA, began hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Wound Care Center. As a result, he has been able to keep his leg, and is walking today.
“I had an unhealed wound on my left foot that was so severe, my doctors were considering amputation,” says Thurber. “But I’ve never been someone to give in easily, and I was highly motivated to keep my leg. So I saw Dr. Alan McClelland at Baystate Greenfield Surgery, who discovered osteomyelitis in the toe joint and admitted me to Baystate Franklin Medical Center for treatment with IV antibiotics.
“Dr. Sohail Waien was my hospitalist there,” continues Thurber, “and the two of them agreed I would be a good candidate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Baystate Franklin’s newly opened Wound Care Center. Dr. Waien installed a PICC line [a special type of catheter for people who require access for an IV over a period of time] so I could remain at home while being treated, and he and Dr. McClelland oversaw my continuing care at the wound center. I completed a course of 40 treatments in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, and was the first person to use this equipment in the brand new facility.”
About HBO Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy delivers 100% oxygen to the patient, providing fuel the body needs to rebuild circulation and to regrow tissue and capillaries. These treatments are called “dives” because once the transparent chamber has filled with pure oxygen, the pressure is the same as one would experience at 30 feet below sea level.
Patients undergoing treatment lie in this chamber for two hours a day, five days a week, usually for about six weeks. HBO may be recommended after a patient has not responded to 30 days of standard wound care therapy; and osteomyelitis is one of the more common conditions for which it is used. About 7-10% of patients who are being treated at Baystate Franklin’s Wound Care Center qualify for this therapy.
“Results Were Amazing!”
“While I received the HBO treatments, my wounds were checked every day,” Thurber explains. “All the nurses were involved in the treatment and dressings, and my wife and I appreciated their optimistic, cheerful attitudes. The results of my HBO treatments were amazing! Even after the course ended, I continued to have improved circulation and healing of scars from wounds that were many years old.
“I have now reached the point where I can walk with a walker, and anticipate eventually changing over to a cane. Thanks to my doctors and nurses – and to my wife, who was trained by them to dress my wounds and monitor my progress at home – I have been able to keep my leg. I never gave up hope, and neither did they.”
Baystate’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center – Greenfield
Baystate’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center – Springfield