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"Diving” into Healing

Some patients at Virginia Hospital Center go diving several days a week—but not underwater. They are going into a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for a highly effective treatment of non-healing wounds. The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is a spacious, clear compartment designed to deliver 100% oxygen under compression; the pressure in the chamber is equivalent to diving to a depth of about 66 feet. Breathing pure oxygen under pressure delivers extra oxygen to wounds to promote healing.

Patients do about a two-hour “dive” (or treatment session) in the chamber five days a week, typically over one to two months. While reclining in the chamber, they can watch TV, listen to music, read or nap. During treatment, patients and staff communicate via an intercom system.

“Our patients find their treatments painless — as well as comfortable and relaxing,” says AliAsad Arastu, MD. Board Certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases, Dr. Arastu is affiliated with Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine of the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a proven treatment for all types of non-healing wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers, arterial ulcers, soft tissue injuries due to radiation and bone infections. It is done in combination with antibiotics, wound care and compression bandages. “We see patients who have had skin grafts and dealt with wound care for years,” Dr. Arastu says. “Our highly skilled team is able to help them and heal their wounds.”

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The Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center is a Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Accredited Center of Excellence.

Only 10% of facilities nationally meet the stringent guidelines to achieve the prestigious, three-year accreditation.

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