New Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helps patients in Emporia


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Today Newman Regional Health is offering people in Emporia and surrounding areas, a key treatment option many had to travel the distance for to get in the past.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a treatment many locals needed before, but had to travel to larger cities to get. For many people, time and financial constraints made the treatment difficult to get.

“Very few patients could go out for this type of treatment.  So we would just pretty much use antibiotics or whatever we could get by with,” explains Dr. Timothy Harris, a surgical physician at Newman Regional Health.

So what is it?

The Mayo Clinic says, “your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. when tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive.  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry.  An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.”

“They’re breathing 100% oxygen and they’re breathing it two atmospheres below sea level.  Which essentially is if you got into a diving suit and you went 64 feet under water and you’re breathing 100% oxygen,” says Dr. Harris.

The main injuries Dr. Harris says Newman Regional Health needs the chamber for are, “one is the diabetic foot ulcers and secondly we’re going to do it for infection of the bones.  This is for patients who we’ve already tried the basic things, we have done x, y, and z, and then this is the next step.”

There are a minimum of 20 treatments for chamber treatment.  Patients are already taking advantage of the new therapy, and the number of people influenced is only expected to grow.

Dr. Harris says, “we’ll treat about 3 patients per day, 4 maximum. in the next year or so we should have a separate chamber available. and we will have 2 chambers with one technician running both of those. it’s going to be 50-60 patients a year.”

Please contact the Wound Care Clinic at Newman Regional Health for more information at (620) 341-7776.

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