HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: New Center for Hyperbaric Medicine

A new era has begun with the opening of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine at HCMC (Photo 1).  From early plans and funding applications, through installation of a multiplace hyperbaric chamber and construction of a brand new hyperbaric medicine suite, a dedicated and multifaceted team on two continents has worked to make this state-of-the-art facility a reality.

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HCMC was the first and, from 1964 to 2008, the only provider of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to Minnesota and the region.  HCMC remains the only facility that provides emergency hyperbaric oxygen treatments 24/7 for critical patients with carbon monoxide poisoning, life- and limb-threatening infections, decompression sickness, and arterial gas embolism while also providing evidence-based care for non-emergency patients with radiation injury, non-healing wounds from diabetes, and other conditions (Photos 2 and 3). Hyperbaric medicine treatments at HCMC have increased annually as hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown effective for a growing number of chronic medical conditions.  A total of 3335 hyperbaric treatments were administered in 2011, including 135 emergency treatments and 3200 scheduled (non-emergent) treatments. Continue reading “HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: New Center for Hyperbaric Medicine”

New hyperbaric chamber installation scheduled for Thursday

Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) new hyperbaric chamber is expected to arrive late Wednesday to be installed starting Thursday morning. The 48-foot, 120,000 pound chamber will be unloaded from the truck and placed inside the 10,278-square foot addition to HCMC’s Purple Building (near the 716 S. 7th St. entrance).

Installation activities will begin at approximately 7 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Kraus-Anderson Construction Company is building the new addition that will house the hyperbaric chamber. 

Hyperbaric Chamber at loading dock in Australia

HCMC currently has the only multi-chamber hyperbaric oxygen facility in the state that’s used for 24/7 emergency treatment of critically ill patients; usually victims of carbon monoxide exposure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also used for treatments including radiation injuries, diabetic ulcers, chronic wound healing, and the HCMC chamber is used for research showing promise for patients with a traumatic brain injury.   

Original hyperbaric chamber being delivered by train, circa 1963

HCMC’s current hyperbaric chamber is 48 years old and located two blocks away from the downtown campus. The new hyperbaric chamber and wound healing center will open in the Spring of 2012.