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The Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center

SRMC's Wound Healing Center Has Earned National Recognition (click to learn more)

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In the United States, chronic wounds affect 6.5 million patients. At the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center, we treat these wounds and work to prevent reoccurrence by correcting contributing factors such as controlling infection and enhancing medical and nutritional status.

The Wound Healing Center is staffed with a unique team of specialists all dedicated to healing chronic wounds. The combined knowledge of our team members creates a multidisciplinary approach to wound management. We are dedicated to healing wounds that have not responded to traditional treatment.

For more information about the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center, or to make an appointment, please call 330-332-7415.

Wound Types and Risk Factors
What to Expect During Your First Visit to the Wound Healing Center
Frequently Asked Questions

Wound Types and Risk Factors

Treating wounds is a complex task. Each case is unique and patients will heal at varying rates. The Wound Healing Center staff is prepared to handle a variety of different wounds, which include:

Any wound failing to improve with multiple treatments or therapies
Diabetic foot ulcers
Lower leg ulcers
Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
Gangrene
Skin tears or lacerations
Late effects of radiation therapy
Post-operative infections
Slow or non-healing surgical wounds
Compromised skin flaps or grafts
Burns

Some potential candidates are people with diabetes who have wounds that are slow to heal; people with wounds that haven't shown improvement in four weeks; people with certain bone and skin infections; people with radiation injuries; and people with compromised or failing skin grafts or flaps.

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors may lead to chronic wounds, such as:

Malnutrition and diet
Circulation problems
Infection
Aging
Diabetes
Hyperglycemia - especially blood sugars over 150
Arthritis
Kidney disease
Certain medications
Swelling
Weight
Smoking
The inability to adhere to your individual plan of care

What to Expect During Your First Visit to the Wound Healing Center

You or your physician will call for an appointment. On your first visit, bring all medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications, and a list of allergies. Bring insurance information for verification.

Our team of physicians and nurses will evaluate your wound and health and medical histories, including x-rays if you have them. Tests may be conducted to determine blood flow and tissue oxygenation, as well as to indicate if there is any infection present. Together with your physician, we'll develop a treatment program based on our assessment of your individual needs.

Your Role in Healing

Much of the success of your treatment depends on you. We count on you to follow directions carefully and watch your progress closely. You'll learn to care for your wound at home and how to protect yourself from further injuries. The staff at the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center is available to answer questions and give you the support you need.

State-of-the-Art Treatment

At the Wound Healing Center, you'll receive the right treatment to heal your wound. Some of the following treatments may be included in your treatment plan:

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Wound dressings
Wound debridement
Bio-engineered tissue substitutes
Platelet growth technologies

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) Therapy?
A: HBO is a medical treatment that increases the amount of oxygen in the patient's blood, allowing oxygen to pass more easily through the plasma into the wounds to heal them. HBO chambers surround patients with 100% oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure.

Q: Who requires extra oxygen?
A: Usually, there is no benefit to increasing the level of oxygen in the body for normal, healthy individuals. People with certain medical conditions do, however, benefit from increased levels of oxygen.

Q: How do I find out if HBO is for me?
A: If you have a wound that hasn't healed in four weeks, consult the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be an appropriate part of the treatment plan. A physician at the center will evaluate your wound and determine the best course of treatment.

Q: Can someone stay with me during therapy?
A: To protect the privacy of our patients, family members may not remain with you during your treatment. A waiting room is provided for their comfort. A trained technician is always in the room during treatment and can communicate with you at any time.

Q: What should I wear?
A: Since safety is our priority, we will provide you with clothing to wear during your treatment. Please do not wear any of the following items when you come to the center for HBO therapy:

Contact lenses
Makeup
Wigs or hair pieces
Nail polish
Skin lotions
Perfume, cologne or aftershave
Jewelry, including watches and earrings
Hair sprays or oils

Q: What should I bring with me?
A: If you have a movie you would like to watch during treatment, please bring it with you. Otherwise, you don't need to bring anything. If you have diabetes, make sure you eat before your treatment begins. If your sinuses are congested or if you feel ill, let the technician know so we can make you more comfortable.

Q: Do I have to go somewhere else for these treatments?
A: No, you'll come to the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center for treatment. Your therapy will be supervised by a specially-trained physician and monitored by a technician each day.

Q: How long do HBO treatments last?
A: On average, treatments last about two hours. This includes the time to pressurize and depressurize the chamber plus 90 minutes at the prescribed treatment level.

Q: How many HBO treatments will I need?
A: The number of HBO treatments is not pre-set because each person responds differently to the therapy. The average number of treatments required to heal a patient with a problem wound is 20 to 40.

Q: How many times a day will I be treated?
A: For most chronic wounds, HBO therapy each weekday is sufficient.

Q: Is HBO therapy covered by my insurance?
A: Medicare has approved coverage for HBO therapy for many types of chronic non-healing wounds. Most private insurance companies follow Medicare's guidelines, as well. We will review your insurance plan with you before your therapy starts to make sure you know what your costs will be.

Q: Is HBO therapy painful?
A: No, the only sensation you will experience is during the pressurization phase of the treatment. The slowly increasing pressure will push on your eardrums. This is exactly the same feeling you would experience when landing in an airplane or diving to the bottom of a swimming pool. The hyperbaric staff will instruct you about different methods of relieving this ear pressure.

Q: Is HBO therapy dangerous?
A: No, the treatment is very safe. The Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center has very strict procedures that assure your safety and make your treatment comfortable. Before your first treatment, you will be given a thorough orientation.

Q: What can I do during HBO therapy? Can I read a book or newspaper?
A: The chamber is equipped with its own television so that you can watch TV or a movie during your treatment. You may not bring anything in the chamber with you, including books and newspapers. Many patients simply use the time to catch up on some well-deserved rest.

Q: Are there any bathroom facilities in the chamber?
A: No, however, it is possible to take a bedpan or urinal in with you during your treatment. The staff can finish the treatment early, if required.

Q: What if I feel claustrophobic?
A: Interestingly enough, most hyperbaric patients do not suffer from claustrophobia. This could be due to either the large size of the chamber, or the fact that it has a clear acrylic shell. From inside the chamber, it is possible to see out in all directions. If you still feel anxious about your treatment, the hyperbaric physician can prescribe medication that will relax you and make your treatment less stressful.

Q: How can I communicate with the technician?
A: The chamber is equipped with two-way communication. You can talk to the outside technician at any time. The technician can talk to you through the chamber microphone.

For more information about the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center, or to make an appointment, please call 330-332-7415.

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