Health system adds new hyperbaric chamber

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Courtesy Spectrum Health Hyperbaric and Dive Medicine

A BHSH System hospital is adding a new, eight-patient hyperbaric chamber. 

Spectrum Health Hyperbaric and Dive Medicine is expanding with the arrival of a new multiplace hyperbaric chamber that can accommodate up to eight patients at a time. The chamber went into operation Monday, June 6, at 330 Barclay Ave. NE in Grand Rapids.

The chamber replaces Spectrum’s current single-patient chambers, more than doubling patient access to hyperbaric treatments. With multiple patient access, the new chamber can treat emergency needs as well as routine patient care at the same time. 

Hyperbaric chambers are used to administer hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), in which patients enter an enclosed, pressurized chamber filled with 100% oxygen.

The gradually elevated oxygen pressure in the chamber allows the lungs to collect more oxygen with each breath, aiding in the body’s natural healing processes by increasing oxygen in bodily tissues, stimulating new blood vessel growth, accumulating stem cells into wounded tissues to help them heal and decreasing overall inflammation. 

HBOT is used in the treatment of arterial gas embolisms, carbon monoxide poisoning, burns and intracranial abscesses and often is included in wound healing. 

Patients are outfitted with an oxygen mask and remain in the chamber for approximately two hours per visit.

“The hyperbaric chamber increases the ability to safely treat critical patients and provides an environment for all patient needs,” said Dr. Drue Orwig, medical director, Spectrum Health Hyperbaric and Dive Medicine. “With increased space and the ability to interact hands-on with patients, the team will be able to better serve pediatric, critical, bariatric and claustrophobic patients.”

Spectrum has the only 24/7 hyperbaric care program in the state of Michigan and is equipped to handle all levels of patient care.

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