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Delivering Healing Under Pressure

Your body’s tissues need oxygen to function. But, when tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen than normal to survive and heal. In hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the patient breathes pure oxygen under pressure, which increases the amount of oxygen the blood can carry to promote healing. The pressure in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber is equivalent to diving to a depth of about 33 feet.

For Cheri Schrant, Haymarket, Virginia Hospital Center’s hyperbaric oxygen chamber provided the healing treatments she urgently needed. A few days after undergoing breast reconstruction surgery at another hospital, a flap of tissue began to fail. Her surgeon arranged for her to go to Virginia Hospital Center to begin hyperbaric oxygen treatment immediately.

“I was very worried, but the staff was so kind and reassuring,” says Cheri. Over the course of six days, she had nine treatments, each lasting two hours in the clear, spacious hyperbaric chamber. “Being in the chamber was very comfortable. I was able to talk to the staff during treatment and watch TV. In fact, I finished almost two seasons of The Crown!”

To accommodate the urgent treatment Cheri needed, Janice Zima, FNP, VHC Physician Group–Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine, and Bobby Manglona, Safety Director, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy team, came in after regular business hours to give Cheri the daily and, sometimes twice daily, treatments. Cheri saw results quickly, seeing a difference after only the first treatment and steady improvement from then on. Her surgeon told her that all of her tissue was saved. “Patients play an important role in their own healing. Their motivation and commitment are key,” says Zima.

“I can’t say enough about the care I received from Janice and Bobby,” says Cheri. “They really went above and beyond.” Hyperbaric oxygen treatment can be highly effective in treating a wide range of conditions, including non-healing diabetic ulcerations, skin grafts that are infected or have not healed, and bones and tissues that have received radiation or are infected by bacteria.

Virginia Hospital Center’s Hyperbaric Center has achieved the prestigious Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical

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