When Al Matzes came into the Mercy Hyperbarics and Wound Care Center he had a wound on his upper hip that just wouldn’t heal.
“It was a large and deep, open wound,” said Carlene Miller, Mercy wound care specialist. “It was one of the toughest we’d seen.”
Matzes, a teacher at Washington High School, had been treated with radiation, which is one of many things that can reduce the body’s natural ability to fight infection and properly heal. After a mass was surgically removed, an infection near the surgical site turned into a wound that would not go away.
That was when he consulted with the medical staff at Mercy Wound Care Center, which specializes in treating hard-to-treat wounds with innovative approaches. They recommended hyperbaric treatments.
In hyperbaric therapy, patients are placed in a sealed chamber where they receive 100 percent pressurized oxygen.
“When a patient is breathing oxygen under pressure, it increases the oxygen in the blood, which can reduce swelling, fight infections, build new blood vessels and generate the production of healthy tissue,” said Jonathan Limpert, MD, Mercy Clinic physician and Wound Care Center medical director.
“I hadn’t heard a lot about hyperbaric treatment, but it was just as easy as lying down and watching TV, and the results were a blessing from God,” said Matzes, whose wound was impeding his ability to walk.
At the start of his treatment he was using a walker to help him get around. As the wound shrunk, he no longer needed assistance.
“The wound just kept getting better and better,” he said.
Patients are typically treated in 90-minute sessions and are under constant monitoring by staff and can easily communicate with them. Matzes received 39 treatments in about three months, and he got to know the staff very well.
“The support there is unbelievable,” he said. “For the weeks I was receiving treatment, I felt they were my second family.”
Mercy Hyperbarics and Wound Care Center in Washington is led by board-certified physicians trained in general surgery, wound care and hyperbaric medicine. It is staffed by clinicians skilled and trained in wound care and hyperbaric therapy.
The center offers comprehensive wound care treatment in addition to hyperbaric therapy. Patients begin with a diagnosis and treatment plan and care is always coordinated with patients’ referring physicians.
The Center is located in Suite 226 in the Mercy Medical Building, 851 E. Fifth St. in Washington.
The office is open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and most appointments can be scheduled within 48 hours. Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurances are accepted.
For more information, people should call 636-239-8827 or talk to their physician about a referral.