Peter Kaltman is being wheeled into a hyperbaric chamber. Why? Because he's diabetic and has sores that won't heal. "They just appear. They just come and they won't heal unless they are taken care of medically."
And that treatment comes in the form of 100% oxygen. Dr. Todd Inman is the Medical Director at the Wound Care Center at Northern Nevada Medical Center. "When we push the oxygen higher we have more of a chance to help new blood vessels grow. We have a chance to have white blood vessels function better, collagen gets deposited better. A lot of things happening that area gets better oxygen."
Dr. Inman says wounds like these are dangerous for many diabetics. "And of that percentage that get diabetic foot ulcers it's extremely serious and they have high risk of limb amputation when that happens."
What causes that? For Peter, it was a spontaneous ulcer. Sometimes they are traumas people will get just by scratching or bumping their legs. For Peter, avoiding a foot amputation has meant heading into this chamber 5 days a week for 2 hours. He's been coming here for 15 weeks. He says he is claustrophobic, but the chamber doesn't bother him. The goal is to get oxygen into his extremities where it can't get naturally because of his diabetes. One huge benefit is the oxygen will help grow new blood vessels. More blood means better circulation which means the sores can heal. After 14 weeks of treatment one ulcer has completely healed and the other is about 95% healed.
Peter says a better diet, a recumbent bike, and his time in the hyperbaric chamber is what peter says healed up his sores and saved his feet.