Contrast

Contact

Share

Donate

MyChart

Help

Hyperbaric medicine provides hope to COVID-19 patients

Monday, November 23, 2020

Greenwich Hospital is treating COVID-19 patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy administered by Ellen Stacom, RN, (left) and Sandra Wainwright, MD, medical director, Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing


Greenwich, CT (Nov. 23, 2020) – Emerging evidence shows hyperbaric oxygen therapy – best known for treating scuba divers for decompression sickness – can effectively deliver much-needed oxygen to COVID-19 patients.

Greenwich Hospital is one of six medical facilities nationwide – and the only one in Connecticut – slated to take part in a yearlong trial to treat 600 COVID-19 patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The hospital has already treated three COVID-19 patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy with some promising results. One patient who had severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, said his airways began to clear after 10 minutes in the chamber.

“This treatment may help some critically ill COVID-19 patients avoid intubation and mechanical ventilators, which so often impact recovery and survival,” said Sandra Wainwright, MD, medical director of Greenwich Hospital’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing.

At Greenwich Hospital, hyperbaric medicine is often used to treat difficult-to-heal wounds that have not responded to traditional treatments. Now COVID-19 patients are finding relief in hyperbaric chambers that increase oxygen levels to extremely high levels when patients need it the most.

Delivered while patients lie in an enclosed chamber, the treatment fully saturates red blood cells and plasma with oxygen to combat the harmful effects of the coronavirus on the lungs. Patients receive the 90-minute treatment for five consecutive days.

“Patients with severe pneumonia due to COVID-19 can’t get enough oxygen on their own to sustain their organs,” explained Dr. Wainwright. “They’re constantly panting for air, breathing at about 45 to 50 breaths per minute. That’s a breath almost every second.” Fourteen to 18 breaths per minute is considered normal.

But once in the chamber, patients begin to relax and their breathing slows down. “You see the fear start to leave their eyes. Their muscles relax. Some patients take a nap,” she said. “For a precious 90 minutes, they actually feel normal again.”

Greenwich Hospital is a member of Yale New Haven Health. Greenwich is a 206-bed (includes 32 isolettes) community hospital serving lower Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York. It is a academic affiliate of Yale School of Medicine. Since opening in 1903, Greenwich Hospital has evolved into a progressive medical center and teaching institution representing all medical specialties and offering a wide range of medical, surgical, diagnostic and wellness programs. Greenwich Hospital is recognized throughout the healthcare industry as a leader in service and patient satisfaction excellence. Greenwich Hospital has the prestigious Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence. www.greenwichhospital.org

Similar Articles

5/25/2022

Statement from Christopher O’Connor, CEO and president, Yale New Haven Health on the recent and tragic gun violence

NEW HAVEN, CT (May 25, 2022) – As our nation once again harshly comes to grips with more senseless acts of violence, we fortify ourselves against a sea of all too familiar images of lost lives and innocence. As a parent and as a healthcare leader, I find the tragic consequences of last week’s mass shooting in Buffalo, NY and yesterday’s horrific events in Uvalde, Texas, hit too close to home.

5/19/2022

First annual stroke symposium focuses on prevention and treatment

Greenwich, CT (May 19, 2022) – An in-depth look at preventing and treating stroke – the nation's leading cause of disability and fifth leading cause of death – was the focus of Greenwich Hospital’s 1st Annual Stroke Symposium on Advances in Stroke Management and Prevention.

5/17/2022

Hospital Nursing Leader Honored for Global Impact

Greenwich, CT (May 17, 2022) - Greenwich Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Anna Cerra, DNP, RN, was honored for her work to stop human trafficking during the 6th Annual International Nurses Day sponsored by Nurses with Global Impact on Friday, May 13.

Media Contact

Magaly Olivero
Tel. 203-863-3463
Email