POCATELLO, Idaho - Portneuf Medical Center received some recognition Wednesday for its work in healing folks at its Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center.
All Portneuf Medical Center had to do is heal patients. The story of Erick Romero's recovery, among the numerous patients cared for in the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, helped the hospital receive this award.
Romero stepped on a nail last year. However, with diabetes symptoms causing him to not be able to feel his foot, and thinking it wasn't really that bad, problems with infection led to the images above that leave some feeling squeamish.
Doctors were planning on amputating his right foot, but Romero refused.
"I entered into the hospital for four days, and then the doctors sent me to the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center," said Romero.
He had various treatments, including hyperbaric chamber treatments for two hour hours a day, Monday through Friday, for 40 days.
He said while this was a major amount of time, there were no options.
"You've got to do what you've got to do," Romero said.
Ffter those 40 treatments, all he's left with is a scar on his very-much attached right foot.
Romero is just one of the hundreds of people healed with the help of the hyperbaric chamber, and the power of oxygen.
"The body will actually grow new vascular support to the area of issue," said Annie Mowrey, clinical nurse manager in the center. "That increases the blood supply, the oxygen delivery to the wound and all the chemical matrix components needed to heal that wound."
Mowrey explained the complicated process like this: We on Earth have one atmosphere with the oxygen we need. The hyperbaric treatments intensify that to being like two atmospheres, maybe three.
The wound literally heals faster with the concentrated oxygen and in Romero's case, skin began to heal and close around the wound at a rapid rate.
Some bacteria and viruses are susceptible to oxygen, so these treatments prove to be particularly effective.
Romero's case, while extreme, has been just one of hundreds that earned them a Center of Excellence Award from Healogics, the company the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center has partnered with to provide their services.
It's named after Robert A. Warriner III, a pioneer in wound care who actually trained one of the doctors of the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at Portneuf.
Mowrey says they are grateful to receive the recognition.
"More importantly, we're helping hundreds and hundreds of people in the area heal wounds that they've had a hard time getting to heal, we get them back to a normal life," Mowrey said.
The team also said this award inspires them to continue providing this advanced healing solution, along with their caring spirit and expertise.
With a successful heal rate of 93 percent and an average of 24 days to heal, Morwey said it's just a matter people knowing about the services they provide.
Since this health scare, Romero has changed his habits. He exercises, checks his blood sugar and overall is more aware of what's happening with his body.
He and his wife felt it was very important to show people how serious diabetes can be if you don't take care of yourself.
The Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center has been at Portneuf since 2008.
The hyperbaric chambers also allow those using them to watch a DVD, cable television or even take a nap.