Patient Support & Resources

It can be scary and confusing when the body doesn’t recover the way we think it should. We are here to support you on your journey, and to answer your questions as best we can.

We have gathered the following information to help you learn about chronic and problem wounds, and how best to care for them at home. Your clinical team is always available to answer any other questions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wound Care

Q: Should I leave my wound open to air?
A: No, healing occurs best when the wound is kept moist and healing cells can travel across the wound to close it. The dressings we prescribe for you maintain just the right amount of moisture on the wound and protect it from contaminants.

Q: Can I get my wound wet in the shower?
A: Yes, unless you have stitches, staples or exposed bone, or your doctor tells you not to. Be sure to ask before you shower or bathe. If you need to keep your wound dry, use a garbage bag or other plastic to cover it when you shower. Typically, you should not soak your wound.

Q: What if I forget to change my dressing?
A: Change it as soon as you remember. Be careful when removing it in case it is stuck to the wound. If that happens, use enough water to soak the dressing so it comes off without causing pain. Then, redress your wound as your doctor directed.

Q: How do I clean my wound?
A: Clean your wound with normal saline (salt water) or special wound cleanser your doctor prescribed.

Q: Can I use a whirlpool to clean my wound?
A: No. Water under pressure may drive bacteria into the wound tissue.

Q: If my skin is dry, can I use lotion?
A: Yes, skin that is kept moist is less likely to break down. But, do not put lotion in the wound. If you have skin that is broken open, ask your doctor to recommend a product.

Q: What kind of skin lotion is best?
 Look for lotions that are emollients which put moisture into the skin instead of covering it as another layer. Do not use petroleum jelly because it forms a separate layer. Emollients include: Curel Moisturizing, Nivea, Neutrogena, A&D ointment, Vitamin A&D, Eucerin Moisturizing, Keri Lotion and Lubriderm.

Q: Will the sun or a sun lamp help my skin?
A: No. These will dry out the wound bed when the goal is to keep it moist. In addition, your skin may burn, which can cause other problems.

Q: What does it mean if some skin changes color?
A: Some skin changes are not harmful, but others, like redness, can point to a problem. Check the skin around the wound daily for changes. Show your healthcare provider any changes immediately.

Q: Can I use betadine or hydrogen peroxide on my wound?
A: No, we do not recommend these solutions because they can kill healthy cells.

Q: If I am a diabetic, why is it important to control my blood sugar?
A: High blood sugar can slow down or stop wound healing. Talk with your wound care provider about the best blood sugar level for you. If you have diabetes, eat properly and take your prescribed medications, including insulin, during hyperbaric treatment. We will check your blood sugar at each visit.

Q: What else should I report?
A: Tell your provider about:

  • Pain from your wound
  • Increased drainage from your wound
  • Redness of the skin around your wound
  • Bleeding from your wound
  • Changes in body temperature, blood pressure or mental awareness
  • Any new wounds
  • Medication changes
  • Trouble doing prescribed dressing changes

Frequently Asked Questions about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Q: What is HBOT and why is it used to treat wounds?
A: This is a medical treatment in which the patient is placed in an individual pressure chamber breathing 100% pure oxygen, compared with 21% oxygen in the air. The pressure of the oxygen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is 1.5 to 3 times atmospheric pressure. Wounds need oxygen to heal properly so this exposure can speed healing.

Q: Is HBOT therapy reimbursed by insurance?
A: Insurance often covers HBOT, although coverage depends on the diagnosis and insurance plan. Pre-authorization may be required. Check with your insurance plan.

Q: How is hyperbaric treatment given?
A:  You will lie on a stretcher and slide into the hyperbaric chamber. You breathe in normally. An attendant will watch you throughout the entire session.

Q: How long do treatments last?
A: Treatment sessions are about two hours long.

Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: Your diagnosis and clinical response will determine the number of treatments needed. Typically, patients have 10 to 30 treatments.

Q: What does hyperbaric treatment feel like?
A: Usually, you don’t feel different. During certain parts of treatment, however, you may feel fullness in your ears like being on an airplane. This is the eardrums’ response to pressure changes. We will teach you how to "clear" your ears to avoid discomfort.

Q: How do I prepare for treatment?
A: We will give you special cotton garments to wear for treatment. You cannot bring any personal items or skin care products in the hyperbaric chamber.

Q: What are possible side effects of treatment?
A: Side effects are minimal but can include:

  • Claustrophobia
  • Ear popping
  • Temporary blurred vision

Q: What does it feel like?
A: As you rest comfortably in the hyperbaric chamber and pressure gradually increases, the temperature will temporarily rise. When we reach the desired pressure, the temperature will be adjusted to your comfort. You may feel fullness in your ears because of the increased pressure, but the technician can explain how to reduce the pressure and relieve any discomfort.

Q: What can I do to pass the time during treatment?
A: Each hyperbaric chamber is equipped with a TV and cable connections so you can watch your favorite programs. You can also relax and sleep. For safety reasons, we cannot allow books or other reading materials in the chamber.

Q: If I am sick, should I still come for treatment?
A: Please come for your scheduled appointment, but let us know if you have a cough, cold, flu, sore throat, chills, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Also, let us know of any medication changes.

Q: Will there be any side effects?
A: You may experience temporary vision changes that should subside within a few weeks of finishing therapy. You may also feel tired. Both are normal.

Q: Do I need someone to drive me to and from treatments?
A: No, you can drive yourself.

Wound Care Locations

22 Pine Street
Bristol, CT 06010
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Conklin Building
80 Seymour Street Room 105
Hartford, CT 06106
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61 Pomeroy Avenue
Meriden, CT 06450
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5 Highland Street
New Britain, CT 06052
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111 Salem Turnpike Route 82
Norwich, CT 06360
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3272 Main Street
Stratford, CT 06614
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7 Felicity Lane
Torrington, CT 06790
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115 Technology Drive Unit CP101
Trumbull, CT 06611
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Hatch Wing
112 Mansfield Avenue 2nd Floor
Willimantic, CT 06226
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