Jefferson Wound Care Center Provides 'Painless, Relaxing' HBOT Treatment for Non-Healing Wounds

March 5, 2019

Somerdale, NJ, resident Robert O’Dowd found out first-hand how successful hyperbaric oxygen treatment can be in healing wounds. In fact, not only did this treatment – commonly referred to as HBOT – save his bladder (which had been damaged through radiation treatments for cancer) … it also has greatly improved his overall quality of life.

Robert O’Dowd, 75, of Somerdale, recently underwent treatment at the Jefferson Health Center for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Cherry Hill.

The Marine Corps veteran and retired Financial Manager for the U.S. Department of Defense turned to Jefferson Health’s wound care center after seeing visible blood in his urine during the summer of 2018.

He’d experienced this blood – formally called sudden gross hematuria -- in the past, but nothing that extreme. In fact, O’Dowd says he “knew this was unlikely to go away on its own.”

Multiple visits to nearby hospital ERs and an urologist diagnosis confirmed the blood was the result of radiation-induced cystitis, which was caused by previous radiotherapy treatments. This condition results in irritation of the bladder lining and urethra.

The radiation-induced cystitis came as a result of O’Dowd undergoing 44 life-saving, direct beam prostate cancer treatments in 2013. O’Dowd believes he got cancer (bladder, as well as prostate) through exposure to contaminated wells and radiation while serving in the military in the early 1960s.

“I was exposed to many chemicals used to clean aircraft parts,” O’Dowd recalled. By age 34, he was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate and experienced pain and urinary urgency. Years of discomfort and medical treatments followed.

After receiving HBOT, however, O’Dowd says he feels like a new person. HBOT is a painless, relaxing treatment that uses a pressurized chamber to treat certain medical conditions; patients inhale 100 percent oxygen, which is then carried through the bloodstream to patients’ injured area(s). While lying in the chamber, patients can see outside and/or watch TV.

O’Dowd said his urologist is pleased of the partial healing of his urinary tract structure following the care he received at Jefferson; he hopes, over time, HBOT will result in a complete healing. “I was not nervous about the chamber; that was not an issue for me,” O’Dowd said. “My next cystoscopy in several months will show the progress in healing.”

While O’Dowd continues to heal, he no longer suffers from urinary bleeding and discomfort — something he credits directly to HBOT and Jefferson’s care team: “This is an excellent, modern facility with a professional and caring health team.”

If you suffer from a non-healing, chronic wound caused by diabetes, poor circulation, prior radiation treatments, vascular disease or any number of other conditions, the Center for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Jefferson Health in New Jersey can help. For more information, visit