COVERAGE OPPORTUNITY: Health System Treating Patients Locally

05/30/2008

Patients are now receiving hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) at the Southeast Georgia Health System Wound Care Center in Brunswick—the area’s only wound care center.

HBOT is a therapy in which the patient breaths 100% oxygen while enclosed in a pressurized chamber at greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure. This therapy is used to treat non-healing wounds, such as lower extremity diabetic wounds, radiation tissue damage, and crush injuries.

Delivering oxygen at a much higher than normal rate stimulates growth and healing.

Cancer patients who develop osteoradionecrosis of the mandible (jaw bone), a complication of radiation where the bone dies, may be treated with and respond well to HBOT. This condition is most prevalent in people with head and neck cancers.

Previously, area patients had to travel to receive this therapy in Savannah or Jacksonville.

Three board-certified physicians, Brunswick Campus Chief of Staff and general surgeon T. Wayne Rentz, MD, plastic surgeon Paula Legere, MD, and general surgeon Stephen Kitchen, MD, all attended specialized training required to oversee HBOT and are now qualified to do so.

Four area residents are currently being treated—two for non-healing diabetic wounds of the lower legs and two for osteomyelitis—a serious, often painful bone infection caused by bacteria.

All three physicians are available for media interviews, as well as at least one of the patients.

Photos can also be arranged.

Additional collateral materials are also available.