Most advanced care wound centers use hyperbaric oxygen to accelerate healing in chronic wounds. Wilkins's wound didn't fit the description of "skin ulcers or sores that do not heal without special treatment," but it surely required swift action and excellent results. And it could be that hyperbaric oxygen provided other important benefits in this special case. From our acute coronary syndrome (ACS) page:
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may reduce the risk of dying, the time to pain relief, and the chance of future heart attacks in people with acute coronary syndrome. HBOT increases the supply of oxygen to the heart and may decrease the area of damage and death in the heart muscle. More research is needed to confirm the efficacy of HBOT in conjunction with standard regimens and to identify the types of patients who may benefit the most.
Acute coronary syndrome includes heart attack, or myocardial infarction. Compelling evidence for hyperbaric oxygen received wider attention with the publication of a Cochrane Review article in August 2011. See our ACS page for more information, commentary, and links to helpful resources.
[Photo: KXII CBS video capture]