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Hyperbaric Center Represents the Most Advanced Facility in the Region

Virginia Mason Medical Center (VM) will open a new Center for Hyperbaric Medicine, a state-of-the-art facility and one of the largest civilian hyperbaric centers in the U.S. Notably, it will be the largest civilian hyperbaric chamber on the West Coast. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for June 7. The facility will be open for patients on June 27.

Hyperbaric medicine involves the delivery of 100 percent oxygen to patients in a pressurized chamber for a variety of conditions, ranging from tissue injury following radiation therapy for cancer to carbon monoxide poisoning to decompression illness (the bends).

“The new Virginia Mason Center for Hyperbaric Medicine will be a tremendous resource for the region. The facility will help meet the increasing need for and use of hyperbaric medicine for patients with different conditions such as chronic wounds resulting from diabetes to carbon monoxide poisoning. We use the power of oxygen to heal patients,” said Director of the Center and Section Head of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Virginia Mason, Neil B. Hampson, MD.

The facility is designed to house a new hyperbaric medicine chamber that is 46 feet long by 10 feet in diameter, approximately the diameter of a Boeing 737 airplane. The new chamber offers flexibility in treatment, including the ability to operate two compartments simultaneously at different atmospheric pressures. This chamber is capable of treating a total capacity of 16 patients at once, with eight patients in each of two compartments. The 8,000 square-foot facility is located within the Virginia Mason hospital and offers immediate access to treat both emergency and non-emergency patients.

“The first time I went to Virginia Mason for hyperbaric treatment was for a chronic leg wound and bone-infection that developed after I fell on black ice. Had the treatment failed, I faced the possibility of amputation below the knee. Hyperbaric therapy healed my leg in just 11 days. Throughout, my care was superb, and the Hyperbaric Department’s staff made a tough experience much, much easier,” said Dorothy Bullitt, Executive Director of the Seattle Habitat for Humanity and a hyperbaric medicine patient.

Hyperbaric Medicine — Discover the Power of Oxygen to Heal
Hyperbaric medicine is an emerging specialty that delivers oxygen at greater-than-atmospheric pressure to treat a variety of disorders, from chronic wounds resulting from radiation therapy for cancer to a number of emergency conditions, such as decompression sickness (the bends) and carbon monoxide poisoning. Hyperbaric therapy restores blood vessels damaged by radiation, clears carbon monoxide from the body and helps rebuild tissue to promote healing.

Grand Opening Ceremony
A press conference and ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Tuesday, June 7 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the new facility located at 925 Seneca Street. A public opening is planned immediately following from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with opening remarks, a short video and tours of the new facility, including the new chamber. In conjunction with these opening ceremonies, an educational campaign called the ‘five faces of hyperbaric medicine’ features patients who represent many of the conditions treated by hyperbaric medicine. Patients will be on hand to discuss their experiences.

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center founded in 1920 is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of nearly 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care hospital in Seattle. Virginia Mason is an academic medical center, and includes a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area. Virginia Mason Medical Center, with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, is the site of approximately 360 clinical research studies focusing on improving the care and treatment of a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

Virginia Mason Center for Hyperbaric Medicine:
Designed by NBBJ Architects of Seattle Facility built by Skanska U.S.A. Building Inc. Chamber designed Reimers Systems Incorporated of Maryland Chamber built by Seattle Boiler Works

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