HEALTH & FITNESS
Above: A room-size hyperbaric chamber with four patients and a technologist at
Royal Oak Beaumont's Hyberbaric Medicine Center.
Top: Dr. Bruce Ruben
with an individual-sized
full-body chamber at
0 2 — The Complete
Hyperbaric, Infusion &
Wound Care Center in
Bottom: Dr. Farris Gulli
in the control room of
Royal Oak Beaumont's
May 31- 2007
In Search of Healing from page 31
gas mixture) during deep-sea diving,
that prompted further study in the use of
hyperbaric oxygen in clinical practice,' Ruben
says. "There's strong science behind it!'
"It's becoming more and more used:'
says Gulli, who is both a general and plas-
HBOT is most commonly applied to
diabetic foot wounds (ulcers), followed by
radiation injuries, Gulli says. At Beaumont,
"We've found a decreased volume of
amputation" because of HBOT use.
At Ruben's Farmington Hills clinic, he
also sees a fair number of crush injuries.
A current patient had his foot run over
by a forklift. "It's not just the bone that is
crushed but the blood flow stops:' he says.
It (HBOT) allows you to sustain life and
the life of a limb."
A Big Relief
Randy Segal had never heard of hyper-
baric oxygen therapy. He was taking
intravenous antibiotics under Ruben's
care, referred for a toe that had become
compromised as a result of his diabetes.
Like other diabetics whose circulation
system lacks oxygen, he was fighting
When the healing didn't progress,
Ruben suggested hyperbaric treatment.
Over a month's time, Segal spent approxi-
mately 90 minutes five days a week in the
oxygen pressured chamber. During his
"dive," he relaxed by watching television,
reading or sleeping.
"There's no question it speeded up the
healing;' says Segal, 51, a West Bloomfield
financial planner with two college-aged
daughters. "It's healed as much as it can
His insurance paid 100 percent of the
HBOT cost, and he experienced no side
"In this setting, oxygen is a drug and
needs to be respected as such;' Ruben
says. "Oxygen can be toxic if not used
Hyperbaric medicine is only part of
the treatment of a patient's wounds, Gulli
stresses. Diabetic patients, for instance,
must make sure that their devitalized
tissue has been cut out, they are eating
correctly, they stay off their feet and use
antibiotics to control the infection, he
"They have to be compliant with every-
thing to be successful;' he says. "We work
closely with the other physicians!'
Dr. Lawrence Dell, an internist, says, "It's
a booming part of medicine — all recent
and new — and a wonderful addition to
Dell is with Internal Medicine and
Primary Care Specialists in West
Bloomfield. He has seen HBOT work in
cases of infection, diabetic foot ulcers and
injuries to the limbs. Some multiple scle-
rosis patients have found relief, although
that is not among the 13 approved indi-
cations of the Undersea and Hyperbaric
Medical Society, which oversees treatment
protocols and standards of practice.
"We see patients with spinal infections
and I send them to Dr. Ruben:' says Dr.
Lawrence Kurz, an orthopedic spinal sur-
geon with Weissman, Gitlin, Herkowitz
M.D. in Southfield and West Bloomfield.
Kurz is excited about HBOT's potential
for healing spinal fusions for his highest
risk patients, including smokers, diabetics
and those who've had multiple surgeries,
undergone radiation or have suppressed
immune systems. "It has to be the right
situation:' he says.
HBOT doesn't work in every case,
Ruben seconds. "I'm strongly Jewish.
Ultimately, God has the say so. It's not my
will. Not everyone will respond."
"Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not the
be all and end all: Gulli says. "Like any-
thing in medicine, there can be complica-
tions but the complication rate is very,
very low." II
For more information, call Beaumont's
Hyperbaric Medicine Center in Royal Oak
at (248) 655-3101, or 02
Hyperbaric, Infusion & Wound Care Center in
Farmington Hills at (248) 932-5666.