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Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
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St. Elizabeth Wound Care Centers in Ft. Thomas and Covington have received national accreditation by the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), becoming the first to receive the distinction in Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana. High performance standards are required for accreditation and only a little more than 100 Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) centers in the U.S. have achieved accreditation.

Nearly 6.5 million Americans have non-healing wounds because of diabetes, pressure ulcers, circulatory problems, or other injuries. Unlike normal wounds that the body can heal, chronic or traumatic open wounds that show no significant signs of healing over several weeks need treatment at accredited wound care centers. The Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society is a complimentary accrediting body of The Joint Commission.



Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is an essentially painless treatment in which the patient breathes 100% oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. The treatment quickly delivers high concentrations of oxygen into the bloodstream which assists in the healing process of wounds and is effective in fighting certain types of infections. HBO also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and improves circulation.

Treatments are typically administered daily, with sessions lasting about 90 minutes. The number of treatments patients receive will depend on their individual diagnosis. In the past year, the St. Elizabeth Wound Care Centers have administered over 1,700 Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments.

While in the chamber, the patient is in constant communication with the Hyperbaric Technician through an intercom and private handset. They are also given the opportunity to listen to music or watch movies to help pass the time.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s hyperbaric services are supervised by Dr. Patrick Birrer. Dr. Birrer is one of three physicians in the Northern Kentucky region that is board certified in HBO. He also received the distinguished honor of being named Medical Director of the Year from Healogics, Inc.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be used for:

  • Diabetic ulcers of the lower extremities
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis and osteoradionecrosis
  • Compromised skin grafts and flaps
  • Atherosclerosis of native arteries


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