Upstate News

November 11, 2003
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

University Hospital’s hyperbaric program receives accreditation

The Hyperbaric Medicine Program at University Hospital has received accreditation from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, making it the first accredited hyperbaric oxygen therapy program in New York state and one of 28 accredited programs in the United States. It is the only facility of its type in Central New York.

In addition to decompression sickness (the bends), hyperbaric oxygen treatments are also used for 13 other conditions, including soft tissue radionecrosis, gas embolism, carbon monoxide poisoning and post-radiation necrosis.

The therapy exposes patients to 100 percent oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure, resulting in a higher concentration of oxygen in the blood and tissues, improving the efficiency of the white blood cells and certain antibiotics and helping promote the healing process in chronic wounds. The treatment is given in a chamber and typically lasts approximately 90 minutes during which time the patient can watch television or sleep. The patient is in constant communication with the nurse who monitors the patient both visually (the sides of the chamber are transparent) and by microphone.

The Hyperbaric Medicine Program at University Hospital opened in 1991 and provides approximately 1,200 to 1,400 treatments annually to patients from central and northern New York. Staff provide 24-hour coverage for emergency needs.

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