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Learn About Expert Care for Non-Healing Wounds

July 16, 2013

Sometimes the human body's remarkable ability to heal from wounds is thwarted by factors such as circulatory problems, diabetes and infections. When that happens, a wound may become chronic. Coping with such chronic, non-healing wounds can be frustrating.

Fortunately, the wound-care experts at Washington Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine specialize in determining why such wounds aren't healing and what treatments are required to promote faster healing and avoid further complications. They also provide expert care for serious acute wounds, including those associated with burns.

"We provide a wide range of advanced wound care treatments tailored to the specific needs of each patient," says Clinical Nurse Specialist Chungmei Shih, M.S.N., R.N. "We also offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a supplement to other treatments for chronic wounds."

To help people in the community learn more about the types of wounds that can be treated and the various methods used to treat different types of wounds, the Washington Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine is offering a free seminar on Thursday, July 25 from 6 to 7 p.m. The seminar will be held at the center, located at 39141 Civic Center Drive in Fremont.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was introduced at the center in early 2011 when it moved to its current facility. When used in conjunction with other treatments, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can make a big difference in chronic wound patients who have a compromised blood supply. Oxygen stimulates the immune system to kill bacteria and releases the body's own 'growth factors' that promote wound healing. Oxygen also stimulates the development of new blood vessels into the wound area.

"Hyperbaric" means "increased pressure," so in HBOT, the patient is enclosed inside a pressurized clear acrylic chamber, breathing 100 percent pure oxygen. The air pressure in the chamber is twice the normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. In addition, the air in the atmosphere normally contains only 21 percent oxygen, as opposed to the 100 percent oxygen in the hyperbaric chamber. The amount of oxygen the blood carries can be increased dramatically - up to 10 times as much - by using hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

"We want to provide people with basic information about wound care and treatments we offer - including hyperbaric oxygen therapy - for those individuals who may benefit from our services," Shih says. "People who might benefit from this information would include those who have diabetes, vascular problems, neuropathy, pressure ulcers or other non-healing wounds. Post-surgical patients with an incision that isn't healing or those who have complications from radiation therapy also may benefit from our services."

The multi-disciplinary medical staff at the Washington Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine includes:
* Plastic and reconstructive surgeons Dr. Prasad Kilaru (Medical Director) and Dr. John Romano
* General surgeons Dr. Kranthi Achanta and Dr. Andrea French
* Vascular surgeons Dr. Rakesh Safaya, Dr. John Thomas Mehigan and Dr. Gabriel Herscu
* Urologist Dr. Albert Assali
* Podiatrist Dr. Divyang Patel
* Infectious disease specialist Dr. Muni Barash

In addition, the clinical staff includes four certified wound nurses, two licensed vocational nurses, a certified hyperbaric oxygen technician and a front office coordinator.

Most insurance, including Medicare is accepted. All HMO patients must be referred by their primary care physician. Patients with other coverage such as PPO and Medicare can self-refer.

Register for Upcoming Seminar

Space at the free seminar on July 25 is limited, and registration is required. To register for the seminar, please call Kellie Frawley, program coordinator at (510) 248-1518. For a consultation, please call (510) 248-1520 to schedule an appointment. For more information about the Washington Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine, visit www.whhs.com/wound.