CRESTVIEW — New hyperbaric chambers will help treat troublesome wounds that don't seem to heal, North Okaloosa Medical Center officials said.
NOMC's 2,500-square-foot Wound Healing Center, located at 125 E. Redstone Ave., Suite D, now staffs five people who assist with such needs.
Once a patient enters the compression chamber, specialists use large amounts of oxygen to treat damaged tissue or body parts with poor blood supply. These therapies can reduce swelling and fight infectious wounds.
"If wounds don't respond to the traditional methods of dressing changes and medications ... once you get past a certain point, this is the appropriate adjunct," CEO David Fuller said.
Renovating a former physician's office and opening the facility cost $550,000, and two hyperbaric chambers are valued at $250,000, hospital officials said.
It's worth the investment to help patients, particularly those with diabetes, which can lead to restricted blood flow in the lower extremities, they said.
"There is a large need for this in this community," Heath Evans, NOMC's assistant chief executive officer, said. "To bring this here, we can offer the care that folks need, close to home."
Hyperbaric safety technician Tim Dreyer seemed optimistic about how much use the equipment will receive.
"This is new to the area," he said. "As word of mouth spreads that hyperbaric (technology) is here, it will grow tremendously."