Oxygen therapy has long been known to speed wound healing.
And a new chamber is making it easier for Ark-La-Tex patients.
"It's nice and pink. It's on the way to healing," Dr. Bewell Combs says of the wound on Oscar Garners Junior's foot.
It's on the mend after a brown recluse spider bite took a bad turn.
Already disabled it made it even more difficult for him to walk.
"Next thing I know it had just gotten swollen and bust open and that's when I seen that hole in my feet," he says.
That's when he came to Doctor Combs with the Willis Knighton Wound Care Center.
"We cleaned it up but we couldn't spark it just with wound care so we went ahead and put him in there," Dr. Combs says.
There, is the hyperbaric chamber where patients spend ninety minutes breathing 100 percent oxygen...boosting the amount of oxygen in their blood to 15 times its normal level.
"It kills bacteria, it stimulates the growth of healing tissues, and it stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in and around the wound area," says Dr. Combs.
Nordia Higgins Reporting, "This is the only multi-place hyperbaric chamber in the region. There's room for as many at 12 people in here. And that makes it much easier on the patients."
"It's just not nearly as confining. You're in the upright position and we have an attendant in the chamber with you helping you adapt to everything that goes on," Dr. Combs says.
"We just relax, read books, talk, just have fun," says Garner.
Wound care workers have treated around 180 patients since putting the chamber to use two months ago, speeding up healing for diabetic ulcers, radiation injuries, burns and other wounds.
"It's very much under utilized and we'd love to see more people more aware of it," Dr. Bewell says.
Garner's glad he became aware of it.
"It's doing fine," he says.
After just a few weeks...he's back on his feet and soon will be heading back to work.
"Had this not been treated with hyperbarics, there still would be a hole," Dr. Combs says.
Most chambers in our area hold only one or two patients who're lying down.