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Portneuf’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center honored for eighth year in a row

The Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at Portneuf Medical Center has been awarded the President’s Circle Center of Excellence award for the eighth consecutive year.

To qualify for the award, the center must first hit certain qualifications.

“91 percent heal rate, greater than 92 percent patient satisfaction, less than 30 median days to heal,” program director Joseph Middledorf explained.

The center must also maintain an outlier rate (the percent of patients who have spent 14 weeks in treatment without healing) below 19 percent, according to Middledorf, who said the award means a lot to the group.

“Our devotion is to the patient, we’re very engaged with our patients. There’s a lot of coordination that goes on with the care that we provide,” he said.

Though most of their patients are suffering from diabetic wounds, the center also sees arterial wounds, ulcers, trauma wounds and surgical wounds among other things.

It’s due to the diversity of injuries that each wound is approached differently.

“Every wound is not the same,” medical director Julio Vasquez said. “So each patient requires individualized evaluation and treatment.”

Worren Nelsen is a perfect example. Nelsen had a spider bite that he ignored which eventually became gangrenous. When he arrived at the center he was told that he was going to lose his foot.

“But I told them no, I’m not going to,” Nelsen explained.

Nelsen spent about five days working with physicians in the center before things started to take a turn for the best.

As part of his treatment, Nelsen spent time in the center’s hyperbaric chambers and now walks around on the feet doctors once said he would lose.

Spending 90 minutes per day in the chamber, breathing 100 percent oxygen, is something the center does for patients with more serious wounds.

“It creates this infusion of oxygen down to the wound site, that creates a gradient and helps to signal stem cells to come to the area,” Middledorf explained.

Although this part of the treatment is an added commitment, Middledorf said that it yields great results in a shorter span of time.

Treatment of the sort has gotten the center recognized for its efforts for nearly a decade straight, so could another award be expected next year?

“We’re going to keep trying out best and time will tell,” Vasques said. “Hopefully, we’ll do that again next year.”

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