Like many people with diabetes, Roland Bowley couldn’t feel the sore on his right foot until it got so bad a nurse said he might need to have it amputated.
The disabled 63-year-old from Canterbury says he had a wound that became infected.
“I just didn’t feel it until it was almost too late,” he says, noting that he went right after Christmas 2017 to have it checked and found himself admitted to the hospital for more than a week for care and observation.
He was referred to wound care specialist Dr. Mark Tramontozzi upon his discharge. Dr. Tramontozzi, who is medical director of the Backus Hospital Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, created a treatment plan that included hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Bowley went five days a week for eight weeks, having two-hour treatments in one of the two hyperbaric oxygen chambers at the Backus Outpatient Care Center. Treatment, he described, includes 100 percent oxygen being pumped into the chamber at a controlled pressure while he was inside to help heal the wound.
“We knew that we would have better results with the wound with the hyperbaric oxygen treatment,” Dr. Tramontozzi explains. “At the end of the treatment cycle, the wound was healed properly.”
Bowley says the treatment was easy and being able to walk easily again on his foot is a gift.
“It healed real good and I can move again, which is wonderful,” he exclaims.
The Federal Food and Drug Administration, according to Dr. Tramontozzi, recommends hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a medical treatment for diabetic ulcers, radiation tissue injuries, osteomyelitis and other conditions. Backus is one of two facilities in eastern Connecticut offering hyperbaric oxygen care for patients with non-healing wounds.
“For patients like Roland, the wounds are beyond traditional care and require advanced treatment. Our state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers can help repair the existing tissue and enhance tissue growth to speed the healing process,” he said.
For more information on wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, go to www.backushospital.org/services/wound-care-hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy.