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Loma Linda installs hyperbaric chamber, said to be first such device west of Texas

INLAND EMPIRE - Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) recently became the first and only hospital west of Texas to install the largest monoplace hyperbaric chamber used in hospitals.

The installation of the Sechrist 4100 model makes the hospital’s Hyperbaric & Wound Care Treatment Program the most comprehensive in the Inland Empire, officials said.

“The installation of this new chamber is important to our vision of providing the best care possible in one location,” Dr. Takkin Lo, medical director of the hospital’s hyperbaric program, said in a recent press release. “With this technology, patients can expect to come to Loma Linda knowing that we can provide them the best and most options possible to make them better.”

The availability of the exceptionally large chamber provides patients more comfort and an anxiety-free treatment experience – while supporting care for critically ill patients.

The new chamber at LLUMC is 41 inches in diameter and features an internal length of a little longer than 90 inches. It allows patients the ability to rest in a reclined and comfortable position during treatment.

According to Lo, about 10 percent of patients refuse to undergo hyperbaric treatment because of claustrophobia or anxiety and panic attacks.

The 4100 model chamber allows the patient to recline and rest in comfort for an anxiety-free experience. With treatments averaging 90 to 120 minutes per session, the fully integrated entertainment center allows for great patient diversions, either by watching television or movies or simply listening to music.

The new chamber can easily accommodate patients up to 700 pounds. It allows for additional life support mechanisms that critically-ill patients need, such as multiple intravenous lines, electrical monitoring devices, mechanical ventilators and oxygen monitoring equipment. Precision controls and displays allow for easy viewing and adjustment by the technician.

The hospital’s hyperbaric medicine and wound care program provides treatment to an about 1,500 to 2,000 patients annually. It currently operates with four chambers, including the new 4100 model. The LLUMC program provides treatment to a variety of medical disorders that include problematic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, osteomyelitis – a type of bone infection, radiation tissue damage, and compromised skin grafts and flaps – such as those resulting from surgeries.

The hospital’s hyperbaric medicine and wound care program was established in 1981 and is recognized as a national resource and research center.

Loma Linda is currently building a 106-bed hospital and sprawling medical center along Interstate 215 in Murrieta that is expected to open early next year.


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