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Wound-care center gears up

January 25, 2012
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - The key pieces of equipment in Adirondack Health's new, $2.7 million Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center were delivered to the still-under-construction facility Tuesday.

Crews unloaded a pair of state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen chambers from a delivery truck, unpackaged them and carefully moved them into the first floor of the two-story building, located off of Old Lake Colby Road behind Adirondack Medical Center. Hospital officials watched excitedly and snapped pictures as the chambers were rolled into place.

"This is the culmination of three years of investigation and planning, and a huge effort to bring advanced wound care to Adirondack Medical Center," said Philip Edie, the facility's program director. "The crown jewel of the wound center is going to be these two hyperbaric oxygen chambers."

Article Photos

Barry Baker, right, vice president of Pan-American Hyperbarics, and two other men move one of two new hyperbaric oxygen chambers into Adirondack Health’s new Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center on Tuesday morning.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

The Wound and Hyperbaric Treatment Center will specialize in the treatment of patients who have chronic wounds, such as the elderly, people with diabetes and vascular disease and cancer patients who've undergone radiation treatment. The hyperbaric chambers provide high-pressure oxygen therapy that is designed to heal wounds quicker. The closest comparable wound-care facilities are in Ogdensburg and Glens Falls.

"This is a tried and proven technology, and we're very excited about it coming to the area," Edie said.

Kerry Roth, who began work this month as the facility's unit supervisor, said this kind of therapy can significantly improve a patient's quality of life.

"It can mean saving their limbs and, in some cases, saving their lives, especially for diabetics," she said. "People with diabetic feet, arterial issues and people who have had radiation or chemo - it's going to do great things."

Purchased from Pan-American Hyperbarics Inc. in Pensacola, Fla., the chambers cost about $125,000 each, according to company Vice President Barry Baker, who traveled to Saranac Lake to deliver and help set up the devices.

Construction of the 9,000-square-foot wound-care center started in August. Crews are working now to put the finishing touches on the facility, which is scheduled to welcome its first patients in late February, Edie said.

The wound-care center will be housed in the first floor of the building. The second floor will have physicians offices that the hospital plans to lease.



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