New Hyperbaric Chamber at TMC’s Wound Care Center

As diabetes continues to be on the rise, the need for comprehensive wound care also continues to grow in Tucson. In addition, the rising obesity epidemic and aging population will also contribute to the rising incidence of chronic wounds.

It was this obvious need that originally drove Tucson Medical Center to open an advanced wound care center in March of this year at its El Dorado Health Campus. When it opened, the 4,700 square-foot facility was equipped with two new hyperbaric chambers and five treatment rooms.

Since its opening, the center has experienced a flood of new patients and a rapid increase in procedures conducted.  In March the center completed 192 procedures, followed by 793 in July, and over 1056 in August.  As a result, the Wound Care Center is adding a third hyperbaric chamber to the facility.

Hyperbaric chambers help heal wounds by providing oxygen to the bloodstream and helping the patient heal from within.

What sets these chambers apart from others is their size.

“The reason why the size of a chamber is important is because a patient may spend as much as 2-2 ½ hours a day, five days a week, for six to eight week sessions in these enclosures. These chambers provide a comfort that is second to none and does not compare to smaller chambers,” explains Suzanne Pinon-Martinez, Program Director.

“The new chamber will allow TMC’s Wound Care Center to meet the increasing demand of this kind of treatment in the Southern Arizona community,” says TMC Chief Operations Officer Linda Wojtowicz.

In addition to hyperbaric treatments, the Wound Care Center also performs the employs the latest methods in skin substitute and debridement procedures.  It is one of more than 500 Healogics facilities staffed with highly trained physicians and clinicians who treat chronic wounds through a multidisciplinary approach and advanced treatments.

“We are truly on the breaking edge of wound care technology,” notes Pinon-Martinez.

Comprehensive Wound Care Provided Across the Continuum of Care

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hard-to-heal wounds,  such as diabetic foot ulcers, can take more than a year to heal, said vascular surgeon Michael Lavor, M.D., last night during the open house for TMC’s new Wound Care Center. But coordinated, evidenced-based treatment across the continuum of care — from the hospital setting to the outpatient setting — can dramatically cut down on the healing time and prevent major complications.

“Above the knee amputations have a 60 percent mortality rate,” he told community physicians, medical office staff, wound care center staff and TMC officials. “It is much better to not have to amputate at all.”

The new Wound Care Center at the El Dorado Health Campus, 1400 N. Wilmot Road, allows TMC to offer a comprehensive wound care program to manage chronic and non-healing wounds caused by diabetes, circulatory problems and other conditions.

The advanced wound care center, which opened March 5, houses two new hyperbaric chambers and five treatment rooms in the 4,700 square-foot facility.

With diabetes on the rise, the need for comprehensive wound care is only expected to grow, noted TMC Chief Operations Officer Linda Wojtowicz. Twenty-four million people in the United States have the disease, with an estimated 60,000  in Pima County. “And a quarter of those can expect to have complications, including foot ulcers,” she said. “There’s a huge need in our community for this type of service.”

In addition, the rising obesity epidemic and aging population will also contribute to the rising incidence of chronic wounds, according to TMC partner,  Healogics Inc., a national leader in wound-care management. TMC’s wound care center is one of more than 500 Healogics facilities staffed with highly trained physicians and clinicians who treat chronic wounds through a multidisciplinary approach and advanced treatments.

In 2011 alone, the Healogics network cared for more than one million wounds that had failed to heal using conventional methods, achieving a healing rate of 89 percent for these wounds.

“Healogics is committed to advancing wound healing by creating, sharing, and activating wound prevention and care expertise,” said Richard Vandever, Healogics senior vice president. “”Simply put, this means healing more wounds that otherwise wouldn’t heal, thereby preventing amputation for thousands of patients.”


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461