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Wound Care | Hyperbaric Medicine

When a wound fails to heal following 6 weeks of standard medical care, it is considered a "problem wound" and has the potential to benefit from the services offered by a wound healing center.

The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Hartford Hospital provides high quality, cost-effective treatment for individuals with problem wounds.

Approximately 10-15% of persons seeking care at a wound care center may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO 2 T). The Wound Center houses a state-of-the-art single-person hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The environment within the chamber is compressed air, which is adjusted to 2-3 times greater than atmospheric or sea level pressure. While inside, individuals wear oxygen delivery hoods which provide 100% oxygen. Patients typically spend 2 hours in the chamber and receive daily treatment for 30-60 days, depending upon their diagnosis and response rate. An attendant is present inside the chamber assisting patients and monitoring their clinical status.

A physician trained in HBO 2 T is present continuously during treatments. The Hyperbaric Medicine Program, in addition to providing support to the Wound Center, treats emergent diagnoses such as decompression sickness, venous or arterial gas embolization, carbon monoxide poisoning, traumatic crush injuries, and necrotizing soft-tissue infections. The chamber is capable of providing therapy for critically ill, ventilator-dependent adult and pediatric patients. The Hyperbaric Medicine Program is an active member of the Divers Alert Network (DAN).

Medical Diagnosis & Insurance Coverage

The Hyperbaric Medicine Program employs the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Societys (UHMS) protocols to evaluate patients for the appropriate utilization of this therapy.

The UHMS sanctions the following list of diagnoses for HBO 2 therapy.

Medical diagnosis for which hyperbaric oxygen therapy is indicated:

  • air or gas embolism
  • decompression sickness
  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • severe blood loss anemia
  • selected problem wounds
  • severe diabetic foot ulcers
  • clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
  • compromised skin grafts or flaps
  • severe crush injuries w/open fractures
  • acute compartment syndromes
  • chronic refractory osteomyelitis
  • delayed radiation injuries (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
  • necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • intracranial abscess
  • thermal burns
  • refractory actinomycosis

Insurance Coverage

These indications are also recognized by Medicare/Medicaid (CMS) and most health insurance providers. The treatment for diabetic foot ulcers was added to the list of reimbursable indications in 2002.

For more information regarding insurance, visit Patient Financial Services.

Hartford Hospital Locations:

Wound Care