Peninsula Regional Medical Center - Part of Peninusula Regional Health System


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Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center Receives National Accreditation

Peninsula Regional Medical Center announced today that its Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center has received full accreditation from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS).

This accreditation awards centers for meeting or exceeding highest industry standards and best practices in hyperbaric treatment.  Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center is the fourth center in Maryland and the only center on the Delmarva Peninsula to successfully complete the organization’s rigorous accreditation process.  Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center is a member of the Diversified Clinical Services, Inc. (DCS) network.

The accreditation process took approximately 18 months, and is undergone to ensure the highest standards of quality care are achieved.  UHMS sent a team of experts to examine the center's staffing and training, equipment installation, operation, and maintenance, facility and patient safety, and standards of care, finding that the Center was eligible for accreditation.

"Providing quality care is a top priority for us," said Jason Hafer, Program Manager of the Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center. "We are very proud of this accreditation appointment and we’re committed to seeing that our facility serves as an industry benchmark for high standards and exceptional care.”  Clinical hyperbaric facilities, such as Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center, can demonstrate the commitment to patient care and facility safety by voluntarily participating in this program.

"Fostering patient trust is a key driver throughout our Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center,” explained Edward Klopp, MD, Medical Director. "This accreditation gives patients the confidence that they are going to a facility that is operating at the top of its field.”

The center opened in 2005 offering Delmarva residents specialized care for chronic or non-healing wounds.  DCS-managed Wound Care Centers® effectively utilize hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to heal more than 35,000 diabetic wounds each year, providing more HBOT therapy than any other wound care provider in the world.  HBOT is a safe and evidence-based treatment proven to speed the healing process in certain types of wounds.

During the treatments, the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen inside a pressurized chamber, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream, where it is delivered to a patient's wound site for faster healing.  Essentially, HBOT therapy helps heal the wound from the inside out.  This therapy can help reduce swelling, fight infection, and build new blood vessels, ultimately producing healthy tissue.  It is also effective in fighting certain types of infections, improving circulation, in stimulating growth of new blood vessels, and in treating osteomyelitis, compromised skin grafts and flaps, injures that result as a late effect of radiation and diabetic wounds of the lower extremities. 

Non-healing wounds of the diabetic foot are considered one of the most significant complications of diabetes, representing a major worldwide medical, social and economic burden that greatly affects patient quality of life. Almost 24 million Americans—one in every 12—are diabetic and the disease is causing widespread disability and death at an epidemic pace, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Of those with diabetes, 6.5 million are estimated to suffer with chronic or non-healing wounds.  Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, and immobility, non-healing wounds occur most frequently in the elderly and in people with diabetes—populations that are sharply rising as the nation ages and chronic diseases increase.

Although diabetes can ravage the body in many ways, non-healing ulcers on the feet and lower legs are common outward manifestations of the disease. Also, diabetics often suffer from nerve damage in their feet and legs, allowing small wounds or irritations to develop without awareness.  Given the side effects of diabetes, these wounds take a long time to heal and require a specialized treatment approach for proper healing.

As many as 25% of diabetic patients will eventually develop foot ulcers, and recurrence within five years is 70%. If not aggressively treated, these wounds can lead to amputations.  It is estimated that every 30 seconds a lower limb is amputated somewhere in the world because of a diabetic wound.  Amputation often triggers a downward spiral of declining quality of life, frequently leading to disability and death.  In fact, only about one third of diabetic amputees will live more than five years, a survival rate equivalent to that of many cancers. With the use of systematic HBOT therapy, 94% of patients maintain an intact limb 55 months after therapy.

Many of these lower extremity amputations can be prevented through an interdisciplinary approach to treatment involving a variety of therapies and techniques, including debridement, dressing selection, special shoes and patient education.  When wounds persist, a specialized and holistic approach is required for healing. Systemic HBOT therapy has been used to assist wound healing for more than 40 years.  HBO therapy involves the systemic delivery of oxygen through pressurized chambers. Best known as an antidote for the “bends,” or decompression illness, HBO therapy is also a proven method to advance healing.

The Peninsula Wound and Hyperbaric Center houses three hyperbaric chambers and five treatment rooms in a state of the art outpatient facility at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, and has more than 400 patient encounters each month.