29 Mar 2012

Hyperbaric wound clinic to be set up in American Samoa

4:27 pm on 29 March 2012

American Samoa is opening it's first hyperbaric wound care clinic in May.

The hyperbaric chamber is being funded by the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries with 600 thousand US dollars granted to the LBJ hospital to cover the costs of building the clinic.

The Fagatele National Marine Sanctuary superintendent, Gene Brighouse, reported that the hyperbaric chamber is currently being manufactured in the mainland.

"It is slated to be moved to American Samoa via ship first week of May. Operations will start immediately after the dedication. There is a team that is coming down to train the LBJ, install the unit, train the individuals."

Hyperbaric treatment uses a special chamber to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.

It can increase the speed of injury healing for diabetics which would help prevent amputations.

The hyperbaric chamber is also used to treat divers with decompression illness.