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Hyperbaric Chambers Help Wound Healing At St. John's

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A technician places a patient in a hyperbaric chamber at St. John Wound Center. A technician places a patient in a hyperbaric chamber at St. John Wound Center.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Grant Sloan, News On 6

There's always been some mystery surrounding hyperbaric chambers, but a new study is shedding light on their role in medicine.

The St. John Wound Center specializes in the treatment of people who have difficulty healing on their own. That includes patients who struggle with chronic leg ulcers, which can be extremely painful.

""I've had patients who've come to me with their wounds for, like I've had one for seven years, that thought that they would die with their wound. We were able to heal them up within six months," said Dr. Lam Lee.

If left untreated, the wounds may never fully heal, and can even result in amputation.

The chambers act as a catalyst, speeding up the healing process, basically overloading the body with oxygen.

"What that does is it forces more oxygen into your plasma, which gets into distal areas of your body that has a hard time getting oxygenated, like chronic wound areas.

In this study, they're adding a new drug called Nexigone that could breathe new life into the treatment process.

"I see this as the next big thing in wound care," Lee said.

The ointment is applied to the wound before patients enter the hyperbaric chamber... and so far, the results have been incredible.

"The first part we actually put nine patients in it, I picked the worst of the worst...the average timeline of the patients having the wound was seven years," Lee said.

Of those nine patients, six were completely healed after just ten weeks.

"I've seen the product, it works great and we've just excited to be a part of the study," Lee said.

With such a success rate, Lee said people have called from all over the U-S volunteering to participate in this new study.

Nexigone is still in the early developmental stages of the clinical process, so it could still be a few years before it's available to everyone.

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