- Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment
- Balance Center
- Behavioral Health
- Blood Donor Services
- Bone Densitometry
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Cardiovascular Laboratory
- Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
- Cat Scan
- Critical Care Unit
- Decontamination Unit
- Diabetes - Adult
- Diabetes - Pediatric
- Diabetes, Osteoporosis & Metabolism Center
- Electroconvulsive Therapy
- Emergency Services
- Emergency Training Services
- Gastrointestinal Motility
- Hand Therapy
- Health Management
- Hearing (Audiology)
- Hernia Center
- Hyperbaric Medicine
- Infusion Center
- Laboratory Services
- Lung Nodule Center
- Memory Loss
- Mental Health Services
- Nutrition Counseling for Outpatients
- Ostomy - Outpatient
- Pain Center
- Palliative Care
- Pediatric Endocrinology
- Physical Rehabilitation
- Pulmonology & Respiratory
- Respiratory Care
- Senior Health & Internal Medicine
- Sleep Disorders
- Stroke Center
- Swallowing Disorders
- Thoracic Center
- Vascular Institute
- Vitality for Seniors: Your Partner in Health & Wellness
- Voice Disorders
- Wound Healing
The Department of Hyperbaric Medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to provide a valuable and unique therapy for certain medical conditions for which no other treatment is available. For many other medical conditions, hyperbaric therapy is used in conjunction with other medical or surgical treatments, particularly when those treatments alone have been unsuccessful. For example, hyperbaric therapy can enhance the effectiveness of certain surgical procedures and wound healing treatments.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO Therapy) is a medical treatment during which patients breathe pure oxygen while sitting inside a pressurized chamber. Alone and in combination with standard treatment protocols, it contributes to optimal outcomes for patients because when a patient receives 100% oxygen in a pressurized environment, it increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. The treatment helps new blood vessels grow and more oxygen is delivered to tissues and organs of the body. This helps to promote the healing process of wounds and damaged tissue. Typically, the pressure in the chamber is 2.5 times normal atmospheric pressure, and hyperbaric oxygen activates white blood cells to fight infection and enhances the benefits of some antibiotics.
The 12-person hyperbaric chamber is the largest, most state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber in the northeastern United States, measuring 9 feet in diameter and 28 feet long. It is a double-lock chamber that allows two compartments to compress and decompress independently, permitting the team to go into and out of the chamber without interrupting patient treatment. A third lock, called a medi-lock, allows the transfer of medical and non-medical items into and out of the chamber without interrupting patient treatment.
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The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Education Committee has published a compendium of diagnostic conditions for which HBO therapy is indicated, and backed by evidence-based literature. Current evidence-based medical diagnoses treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy are:
- Delayed radiation injury (soft tissue and bone necrosis including but not limited to the urinary bladder, rectal and sigmoid colon, female pelvic organs, upper respiratory tract, head and neck structures, brain, spinal cord, and skin)
- Sub-acute radiation soft tissue damage in areas of planned surgery especially of the head & neck (Marx-Johnson Protocol)
- Wounds in patients with diabetes or vascular disease. In conjunction with advanced wound care, hyperbaric treatment can decrease the need for amputation and heal conditions previously thought incurable.
- Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds
- Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
- Compromised skin (subcutaneous) and muscle flaps and grafts
- Idiopathic sudden neurologic hearing loss
- Arterial insufficiencies
- Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome and other acute traumatic ischemias
- Carbon monoxide poisoning (entire families can receive treatments together) and carbon monoxide poisoning complicated by cyanide poisoning
- Air or gas embolism
- Central retinal artery occlusion
- Intracranial abscess
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Decompression sickness
- Severe anemia
- Acute thermal burn injury
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Care is provided in a state-of-the-art multi-place hyperbaric chamber. The chamber accommodates up to 12 patients at once and provides an extremely comfortable environment when compared to the more common single-person units. Most importantly, the spaciousness allows hyperbaric team members to accompany patients inside the chamber during treatment.
Treatment consists of high-dose, short-term oxygen inhalation. It is administered by having the patient breathe 100% oxygen while being exposed to elevated atmospheric pressure. Physicians trained and certified in hyperbaric medicine prescribe treatment protocols, oxygen dose and course of therapy, according to the diagnosis being treated.
Patients typically come in for one 90-minute treatment daily, five days a week, for several weeks. Patients sit in a comfortable chair and breathe oxygen throughout the treatment.
Hyperbaric treatments are very safe. Patients often report positive effects, such as a decrease in pain or improved sleeping patterns. And it is common to experience a temporary fullness or “popping” in the ears, easily relieved by methods such as yawning and swallowing.
A member of the Hyperbaric Center team always remains in the chamber with patients during treatments, and the hyperbaric physician is always present during treatments.
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A specialist in hyperbaric medicine will evaluate your condition, determine if HBO Therapy would be appropriate, discuss alternative treatments with you, and explain risks and benefits. The hyperbaric physician will communicate with your primary physician throughout the treatment period.
Many insurance companies will provide coverage for treatment. Call the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine and speak to a member of our Hyperbaric Center team.
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The Department of Hyperbaric Medicine is under the direction of Gary Willard, MD, who is Board Certified in Hyperbaric Medicine by the American Academy of Preventive Medicine, Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine.
Patients and referring physicians may contact the Hyperbaric Medicine Center by calling (914) 366-3690 to arrange for a consultation.
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Monday – Friday
7 am – 4 pm
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