Nov. 23, 2016
Marshfield Clinic Health System has broken ground for the first center in central Wisconsin to house an integrated approach to hyperbaric medicine, wound healing and wound surgery.
The Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Tissue Repair will bring together these three services under one roof to improve coordination and efficiency of patient care with safer, more effective therapy. The three-story building, with a total of nearly 34,000 square feet, will open for patient care July 3.
A hyperbaric medicine service was developed five years ago in Marshfield to augment medical and surgical wound care and for patients with these other conditions. It has evolved into the only service between Milwaukee and the Twin Cities capable of caring for critically ill patients needing this specialty care.
A keystone of this new facility will be room for a state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber.
"Our new multiplace hyperbaric chamber will expand our ability to treat more patients in a safer, more comfortable and more effective setting," said Marshfield Clinic Surgeon Dr. Michael Caldwell, the center's medical director. "It also allows treatment of the most critically ill patient in the safest possible hyperbaric medicine environment."
The new chamber can treat up to 10 patients at a time and the facility can treat 36 patients a day, compared with 10 patients a day with current technology in Marshfield.
Hyperbaric medicine uses oxygen as a medicine. People normally breathe oxygen at about 21 percent in air. With hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients breathe 100 percent oxygen at higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure, markedly increasing oxygen in the patient's blood stream.
Using hyperbaric medicine, a large difference is created between the amount of oxygen in the blood stream and that found at an injury or infection site. This difference causes new blood vessels to grow into that area and helps fight infection by giving white blood cells needed oxygen to kill bacteria and fungi.
Hyperbaric medicine is used to treat chronic non-healing wounds in diabetic patients; chronic infections in bone; late effects of radiation therapy; compromised or failing flaps or grafts; soft tissue infections that lead to tissue death and destruction; acute loss of blood supply or crush injuries; intracranial abscesses; central retinal artery occlusion; carbon monoxide poisoning; and decompression sickness or the "bends" among other conditions.
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) oversees Marshfield Clinic and other subsidiaries, including Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., MCIS, Inc., Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation, Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls and Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake. Marshfield Clinic, with more than 50 locations in Wisconsin, serves patients through accessible, high quality health care, research and education; with more than 700 physician specialists in 86 specialties and subspecialties and more than 6,500 employees. MCHS is overseen by a Board of Directors with 13 independent members and 11 physicians who comprise the Marshfield Clinic Board.