Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Necrotizing Infections: National Story Generates Some Local Interest in Omaha

Widespread coverage of the Georgia woman battling a necrotizing infection in an Augusta hospital has led health journalists across the country in search of the local angle. Of most interest: Doctors report an unusually high number of cases recently at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Hyperbaric medical director Dr Jeff Cooper said his center has treated six patients with necrotizing fasciitis, or soft tissue infections caused by flesh-eating bacteria, in just the last month or so. He cannot account for the sharp increase but briefly explained to Omaha.com how hyperbaric oxygen works against the disease:

Cooper said hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an important part of treating the disease. “It forces oxygen into areas that aren't getting adequate oxygen because of the tissue damage and swelling,” he said. “This revives the immune system locally and causes the antibiotics to work more effectively.”

Today the medical center is holding a press conference on the subject. More on the web at WOWT Channel 6 and the Omaha World-Herald.

[Photo: Nebraska Medical Center]

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