Hyperbaric Oxygen Program
at Skagit Valley Hospital
Skagit Valley Hospital has an important tool available to treat disease. This tool is hyperbaric oxygen and is available at The Sonya Beard Hyperbaric Oxygen (HB0) Program which opened Summer 2010 in the hospital’s Skagit Wound Healing Center.
The hyperbaric oxygen chambers allow 100% oxygen to be delivered under pressure to help promote the growth of new blood vessels and the healing of chronic wounds in patients treated with HBO. The infusion of oxygen helps to heal diabetic ulcers, osteomyelitis (bone infection), failed skin grafts, post-radiation injuries or osteonecrosis, which is bone death caused by poor blood supply to the area.
How it works
Patients receive 90-minute treatments, five days per week totaling 20 to 40 treatments, depending on the disease being treated and the body’s ability to grow blood vessels. HBO patients are reevaluated every 30 days. The patient wears a gown and lies down in an individual chamber made of clear acrylic, which allows the patient to see what is going on in the room and allows the hyperbaric technologist to have constant visual contact with the patient. An intercom system provides for conversation between patient and technologist and accommodates patient viewing of the personalized television screen mounted on the outside of the chamber.
As the chamber pressurizes, they will have a warm feeling and as they decompress they will feel a chill. The effect of the chamber is the same as being under 33 feet of water (without the water), which is why they call each treatment a “dive.”
Skagit Valley Hospital will provide hyperbaric oxygen treatment on an outpatient basis and for now will not provide emergent care for issues such as carbon monoxide poisoning or decompression illnesses. These cases will continue to be referred to Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle the region’s only multi-place, critical care oriented hyperbaric facility.
The HBO program is named for Mrs. Beard of Mount Vernon, who, before her death in May, donated $165,000 to pay for two Seachrist monoplace hyperbaric oxygen chambers at Skagit Valley Hospital.
For more information call the Sonya Beard Hyperbaric Oxygen Program at 360-814-2600.