Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Last Post Re: Success with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Necrotizing Infections

Before we take a break from this topic, here's one more quick but inspiring story about success with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for deadly soft tissue infections, or flesh-eating disease, sometimes including gas gangrene or bone infections.

Nurse manager Amy Pakes, RN, MS, says Nassau University Medical Center, a NuHealth hospital in East Meadow, New York, sees a dozen cases of necrotizing fasciitis every year:

At Nassau, as soon as a diagnosis is made, the patient receives powerful intravenous antibiotics. Surgical debridement of the infected tissue immediately follows. In addition, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is given to prevent further tissue loss and promote healing.

"We usually take patients right from surgery to the hyperbaric chamber, but they might have to go back for several more surgeries to remove dead tissues and such," Pakes said.

Monday's story on Nurses.com tells the story of one recent case:

"We used all of our resources—our surgical team, hyperbaric team and skilled nursing in the burn center, who did the complicated wound dressings that accompanied the wound care," Pakes said. "The patient was here for almost a month and we were able to save his arm, but it was a team effort."

Eileen Abruzzo, RN, MSN, CIC, director of infection prevention at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York, was also interviewed for the Nurses.com report.

[Photo: NuHealth website]

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