Hyperbaric oxygen therapy saves young girl's toe

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been two months since a freak accident nearly severed one young girl's toe.  Now, thanks to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, she's back on her feet again and all smiles!

Five-year-old Emily Deshotel is a ball of energy today, so it's hard to believe that just two months ago a serious accident inside her home's barn brought her to a halt.  Emily's mother, Frances says, "The boat trailer somehow or another fell on her toe and it cut it off."

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital emergency physicians were able to reattach Emily's big toe, but without proper healing, Dr. Tyson Green says amputation was a possibility.  "There's lack of blood flow," says Dr. Green, "the capillary beds are damaged or large arteries are damaged - causing it not to be able to profuse to that area."

Emily was prescribed three weeks of daily wound treatment inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber at St. Pat's Center for Advanced Wound Healing.  Dr. Green explains, "You're put into a pressured, oxygen-rich environment and it allows the oxygen-rich blood to profuse to the skin level a lot easier."

The pressurized chamber takes the patient to a greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure, pumping more oxygen into the blood stream that is transferred back to the wound.  Because of the 90 minute treatments in a confined space, Frances was initially concerned that her active daughter would not cooperate.  But with the patience from a caring staff and a little entertainment, Emily actually looked forward to her time in wound care.

"I was coming to watch Alvin, Simon and Theodore in the Chipmunk movie," says Emily.

Now, this little girl is full speed ahead with a healthy toe.  "She's running, she's walking better and she's doing very well," says Frances.

*To learn more about the services offered at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital's Center for Advanced Wound Healing, call 430-3282.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)