Hyperbaric Medicine – The Emerging Specialty at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
Hyperbaric medicine brings new depths of care and wound management to the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
The Institute’s Hyperbaric Medicine Unit reflects the hospital’s major commitment to this specialized area of medical care. It is equipped with one of the largest and most advanced hyperbaric treatment facilities in the world.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is most widely known for its use in treating scuba diving complications. However, modern hyperbaric therapy has important clinical indications for orthopedics, surgery, infectious diseases and emergency medicine.
A STAFF OF CARING SPECIALISTS
The treating physician on the medical staff, the RNs and technicians have specialized training in the application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The physician coordinates care directly with referring physicians to determine patient treatments.
Dr. Jeffrey Stone, the Unit’s medical director, received his master’s degree in public health from Harvard in 1988. He completed his residency in aerospace medicine and his fellowship in hyperbaric medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. Prior to his position at the Institute, Dr. Stone served as Chief of the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine at the U.S. Army Aeromedical Center in Ft. Rucker, Alabama.
The Unit’s staff consists of two full-time RNs with critical care background and four technicians, and all are certified in hyperbarics.
THE HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY PROCESS
At the Unit, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administered by pressurizing the multiplace (multiple patient) chamber with air to an equivalent of 2.4 atmospheres and having patients breathe 100 percent oxygen using a mask or hood. This increases the level of oxygen delivered to the tissues and augments wound healing repair.
The multiplace chamber allows hands-on medical care to be provided in the hyperbaric environment and enables more patients to be treated at one time, improving comfort, medical support and cost effectiveness.
The Hyperbaric Medicine Unit’s primary clinical use centers around its application in wound healing. In the case of soft tissue radionecrosis, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administered to promote angiogenesis and neovascularization in compromised areas.
THE MULTIPLACE CHAMBER
The Unit’s environmental chamber is a multiplace hyperbaric chamber capable of accommodating up to seven patients at one time. Chamber operations are monitored by advanced computer systems. Equipment for managing medical emergencies inside the chamber includes cardiac monitoring, suctioning and mechanical ventilation.
The chamber is equipped with a large screen TV so patients may view movies during the treatment.
CURRENTLY ACCEPTED INDICATIONS FOR TREATMENT
The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society’s Committee on Hyperbaric Oxygen has approved the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as adjunctive or primary treatment for the diseases and conditions listed below. The Committee’s report is accepted by most national insurance carriers and Medicare as a guideline for reimbursement.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is currently indicated as the primary mode of therapy for the following conditions:
- Air or gas embolism
- Decompression sickness
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is currently indicated as an important adjunctive therapy for the following conditions:
- Radiation tissue damage (soft tissue and osteoradionecrosis)
- Clostridial myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome, acute traumatic ischemias
- Necrotizing soft tissue (subcutaneous, muscle, fascia) infections
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Diabetic foot and other problem non-healing wounds
Hyperbaric Medicine services are consultative in nature and are provided in coordination with the patient’s referring physician. Treatments can be scheduled on an inpatient or outpatient basis, based on the patient’s condition and requirements.
PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL OF DALLAS
8200 Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas, Texas 75231
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Physician Referral Line