John Dalton: Wound Treatment

The Henry Ford Allegiance Wound Care Center is fantastic, and the staff are truly like angels—very compassionate and professional

As a person with diabetes, John Dalton is susceptible to wounds that are slow to heal. While being treated at the Henry Ford Allegiance Wound Care Center for a large, particularly resistant area on the back of his calf, John was referred to the Henry Ford Allegiance Hyperbaric Center.

“The Henry Ford Allegiance Wound Care Center is fantastic, and the staff are truly like angels—very compassionate and professional,” John said. “They made a huge improvement with my leg, but there was a small area that just refused to heal.”

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a painless high-oxygen-pressure treatment recognized by the American Medical Association for its success in improving certain conditions, including chronic, non-healing wounds. The therapy involves breathing 100-percent oxygen in a pressurized chamber, which causes the oxygen to diffuse into the bloodstream. Among other benefits, HBOT nourishes tissue with poor circulation and boosts the body’s own natural healing process.

“Dr. Patel explained that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can make an amazing difference, but its success depends largely on the patient’s commitment,” John said. HBOT therapy typically consists of two-hour sessions, six days a week for six to eight weeks. “That requires determination the patient’s part,” John said, “but it gives people with diabetes an alternative; if amputation can be avoided, it’s not too much to ask.”

HBOT treatments take place in a comfortable, climate-controlled chamber that accommodates multiple patients. According to John, “the high-tech aircraft seats in the Henry Ford Allegiance Hyperbaric Center are amazingly comfortable. ”

John was actually the first patient at Henry Ford Allegiance Hyperbaric Center when it opened in 2009. After a few sessions, other patients joined him in the chamber. “The atmosphere and the people were just great and always encouraging,” he said.

As the chamber pressurizes most patients experience a sensation similar to an airplane taking off. “There was also a feeling of euphoria,” John said. During the treatment you can comfortably talk, read, nap, play cards or watch a movie. Dr. Patel and his staff are always nearby and very attentive.

“You can rest assured they know what they are doing,” John said. “If anyone has doubts, they can talk to me.” As each treatment session concludes, the air pressure decreases, similar to the feeling you get as a plane is landing.

Seventy hyperbaric oxygen treatments completely healed the abscess on John’s leg. “It took several months, but I almost never missed a treatment. None of the patients complain about having to be there, because we know it is working. The staff are nice, nice people, and they really took care of me.”

Managing your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels under control helps to reduce your risk of having a stroke.