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Monday, November 26, 2007

11/26/07 Will babies die? Will people explode in flames? Greenwich Hosptial doesn't seem to think so.

Anticipating that greater numbers of residents will suffer circulatory problems as the town's senior population grows, Greenwich Hospital is seeking the state's permission to establish a $1 million therapy service that eases blood flow by increasing oxygen levels.

So-called "hyperbaric oxygen therapy" could serve as an effective treatment for diabetes patients and others who are not responding to traditional antibiotics, said Quinton Friesen, the hospital's senior vice president and chief operating officer.

"The hyperbaric program is for patients who have deep ulcers or major wounds that are not healing under normal circumstances, and with this particular therapy, the data indicates that a patient can recover much more rapidly," Friesen said.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is defined by the Undersea and Medical Hyperbaric Society as the intermittent administration of 100 percent oxygen inhaled while in an enclosed system at a pressure greater than sea level. The increased pressure changes the normal cellular respiration process and ultimately increases tissue oxygenation, stimulating the growth of new blood vessels.

Greenwich Hospital is seeking to purchase two oxygen chambers from Anaheim, Calif.-based Sechrist, for $267,000, according to hospital spokesman George Pawlush. The hospital also expects to pay $775,000 in construction costs for the program, Pawlush said.


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