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Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center Installs the Country's Second-Largest Hyperbaric Chamber
Date:4/17/2008

Hospital will significantly expand its services, treating up to 24 patients

at a time

MILWAUKEE, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center's new hyperbaric chamber will triple the hospital's capacity to treat patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy and improve its regional wound care services.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080417/AQTH107)

The 52-foot-long, 66-ton chamber, the second-largest in the U.S. and the largest in Wisconsin, will be able to treat up to 24 patients at one time.

The chamber was installed today after being lifted by a huge crane and placed into the basement of Aurora St. Luke's through a 1,100-square-foot hole.

Hyperbaric chambers are primarily used to help treat difficult wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, but also are used for carbon monoxide poisoning and a host of other medical conditions. During hyperbaric treatment, patients breathe 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The increased oxygen in the blood stimulates small blood vessel and skin growth and helps fight infection.

"This new chamber will allow us to continue to provide our patients with the most advanced, state-of-the-art technologies available in wound care," said Jeffrey A. Niezgoda, M.D., medical director of Aurora's Centers for Comprehensive Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Program. "Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center has always been a pioneer in the field of hyperbaric medicine. This new chamber will allow us to continue to attract patients from throughout the Midwest."

Hyperbaric treatment can literally save the lives and limbs of patients with wounds that are difficult to treat because of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and arterial vascular disease, Dr. Niezgoda said.

Jack Simanonok, M.D., another hyperbaric physician in the Aurora program,
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SOURCE Aurora Health Care
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