The Wound Treatment Center at Opelousas General Health System is the only facility in the state of Louisiana, and one of only a handful in the country that uses Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 to prevent mechanical ventilation.
Dr. Kerry Thibodeaux, FACS, CWSP, FAPWCA, initiated HBOT early on as a successful means of treatment. “It differs from ventilator treatment because it doubles the atmospheric pressure, thus doubling the amount of oxygen that enters the lungs and the blood stream. Oxygen binds to red blood cells, and is delivered throughout the body, but when it is received in the body under pressure, it also dissolves in the plasma, which greatly increases the oxygen level in the blood stream. This allows cells to work normally, crucially boosting the anti-inflammatory response which helps the patients lungs recover greatly benefiting the healing process,” he explained.
Dr. Thibodeaux continues to educate medical executives throughout the country and the world about HBOT for COVID-19 patients. Recently, he served as faculty in a webinar, entitled “Evidence Review for HBO2 Treatment of Covid-19” along with Marcus Speyrer, RN, CWS, DAPWCA, Chief Operating Officer of The Wound Treatment Center for the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, which is the United States governing body for Hyperbarics. Dr. Thibodeaux shared data from previously treated patients, while Speyrer shared best practices for infection control and transporting patients. Faculty from Australia, Sweden, Italy and Australia were also in attendance.