FOR RELEASE: 3/27/2013Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Oxygen therapy at Bridgeport Hospital helps heal Milford resident’s wounds

“It’s the best place I’ve ever been to,” says Ron Pocevic of Milford about the Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine at Bridgeport Hospital.

Ron underwent cardiac bypass surgery in February 2012. The procedure requires blood vessels to be transplanted from the legs to the heart to create new pathways around diseased blocked arteries. The procedure was a success in that it restored blood flow to Ron’s heart but the incisions made to his legs to remove the transplanted blood vessels were slow to heal. This is sometimes the case with surgical incisions. The severity of Ron’s condition almost led to the amputation of his legs.

Fortunately, Bridgeport Hospital is home to the Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine, which specializes in the treatment of stubborn wounds, including those caused by surgical incisions, radiation treatments, diabetes and other circulatory problems.

“Patients often have multiple medical problems,” explains Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Medical Director Dana Cavicke, MD. “Beside wound care, they might, for example, need help with circulatory problems and nutrition. Our multidisciplinary approach is much more than one bandage for one wound.”

In addition to traditional wound care approaches such as skin debridement, special dressings, compression therapy and skin grafts, the Center has the only multi-person hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) chamber in southern Connecticut.

During HBOT, patients spend up to two hours a day in a special chamber about the size of a subway car, equipped with comfortable seating, a large-screen TV and other amenities. While they are in the chamber, they breathe pressurized, 100 percent pure oxygen (regular air is a little more than 20 percent oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen). This “mega-dose” of pure oxygen promotes healing by stimulating circulation and combating infection.

“The doctors, nurses and technicians were terrific,” Ron recalls. “They were courteous and kind, and made it a pleasure to visit the Center every day.”

Today, more than a year after his heart surgery, Ron says his difficult wounds have now completely healed. He continues to make monthly follow-up visits to the Center to monitor the progress of his recovery.

“It’s a wonderful place to go,” he says.

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.