January 27th, 2004

This month, Great River Medical Center began providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, an advanced treatment method for difficult-to-heal wounds. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are offered at the Great River Wound and Hyperbaric Clinic, which is a service of the hospital’s Center for Rehabilitation.

Great River Medical Center is one of only seven hospitals in the state and the only hospital in southeast Iowa to provide this service. Patients may be referred to the clinic by their physician, or they may call directly to be evaluated and treated by one of the clinic’s physicians.

During hyperbaric treatment, patients lie down in a clear acrylic chamber and breathe pressurized, 100 percent oxygen. The increased availability of oxygen enhances the healing process of damaged tissue. Hyperbaric therapy also is used to help treat bone infections, side effects of radiation therapy and gangrene.

Treatment sessions vary in length and number. The treatments are not painful; the only discomfort patients may experience is fullness in their ears due to the increase in air pressure. The clinic’s staff will provide instruction on how to relieve this discomfort if it occurs. During treatment, patients may watch television or videos, simply relax or even sleep.

The Wound and Hyperbaric Clinic is made up of a team of physicians, registered nurses and a therapist who have advanced training in wound management and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The clinic’s medical director is Michael Niehaus, M.D. Other physicians who provide care at the Wound and Hyperbaric Clinic are Mimms Mabee, D.O., M.P.H., and John Phillips, M.D. Besides hyperbaric therapy, the clinic offers a variety of other treatments for chronic and traumatic wounds.

The Wound and Hyperbaric Clinic is located in the Great River Center for Rehabilitation at 1401 W. Agency Rd., West Burlington, Iowa. For more information or to make an appointment at the clinic, please call the Center for Rehabilitation at (319) 768-4100.