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Kent Hospital
Kent Hospital

Press Release

Hyperbaric Medicine Center Provides Unique Life Saving Care for Newborn
04/09/2012

Warwick, RI… Kent Hospital's Wound Recovery and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only 24-hour hyperbaric center in the region, recently provided hyperbaric oxygen treatment to an 11-day-old newborn boy and his mother. This is the first time Kent Hospital's Hyperbaric Medicine Center has treated a newborn of such a young age, with hyperbaric oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment in which a patient breathes pure oxygen under pressure.

In January, Ethan Trahan Reynolds and his mother, Lyndsay Trahan were both exposed to carbon-monoxide due to a faulty heating system inside their Charlestown, RI home. Kent Hospital received a call from Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence and transferred mother and son by ambulance to Kent's Hyperbaric Medicine Center.

A team consisting of several specialists including technicians, nurses and physicians came together to medically assess the mother and child. A neonatologist, who specializes in the medical care of newborn infants, was on site at the facility to provide direct oversight.

A hyperbaric chamber is a cylinder with a clear, acrylic shell into which a stretcher slides. Patients can lie down or sit up during treatments and are always in contact with a certified hyperbaric attendant. In this case neonatologist and nursery director, Dr. Nicholas Guerina and Dr. Ricardo Duran, assistant director of the Wound Recovery and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Kent, stayed close to the chamber and monitored the patients' condition carefully. Registered nurses from the emergency department and Women's Care Center at Kent also consulted with the nursing staff in the hyperbaric unit. At Kent, there is an institutional commitment to provide state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen therapy with a coordinated team of specialists.

"Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can show great benefits in emergency conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning and we are grateful that our facility could provide successful treatment to someone of such a young age," said Michael Dacey, MD, chief medical officer at Kent Hospital. "Our skilled team of nurses and physicians really came together in this particular case and delivered the best possible care and for that we are extremely proud."

"We are continually seeing the positive results of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the community," said Ricardo Duran, MD, assistant director, Kent Hospital's Wound Recovery and Hyperbaric Medicine Center. "Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and poisoning can be hard to recognize. In this case we are fortunate the mother of such a young newborn realized the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and our center was able to treat and help return them to good health."

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a colorless, odorless gas produced by incomplete burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas, wood, propane and coal. It can be hard to recognize but Trahan noticed her son was extremely fatigued and had slept for eight hours straight without waking, which is unusual for a newborn. Fatigue, dizziness and light-headedness are common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It is important to know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and have your heating system and chimney checked each year, before the heating season begins. Also, if you have a carbon monoxide detector inside your home, make sure the batteries are working.

Kent Hospital Hyperbaric Medicine Center has three chambers and routinely sees patients who have been brought in from house fires and other emergencies throughout New England. It is Rhode Island's largest hyperbaric medicine facility, and the only hospital offering 24- hour emergency hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the region.

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