Yitzhak Sagol, Health Ministry d-g Prof. Arnon Afek, Donor Sami Sagol, Dr. Shai Efrati and Dr. Benny Davidson..
(photo credit: AVIV HOFI)
The world’s largest hyperbaric unit opened on Monday at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Tzrifin.
Such a chamber provides high-pressure oxygen to treat victims of the “bends” (diving accidents), burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, wounds that do not heal naturally, radiation damage, bone infections, heart-lung surgery patients, fibromyalgia and impotence.
It was named for Sami Sagol, the industrialist and philanthropist from Keter Plastics who donated the funds. The hyperbaric chamber can handle up to 150 patients a day. Only a few years ago, the hospital’s hyperbaric chamber could accommodate just 10 patients daily. There are small units in Haifa and Eilat.
In additional to clinical treatments, the facility will be used by hospital researchers working on treatment for dementia and stroke patients whose brains lack oxygen. The hope is that patients who could not move even their hands or feet, will be able to do so and even regain their ability to speak.
The use of high-pressure and highly concentrated oxygen changes the metabolism of various bodily tissues; it can even reverse existing damage to tissues, the doctors said.
Assaf Harofeh director Dr. Benny Davidson, Sagol, physicist Prof. Eshel Ben-Ya’acov and others were present at the ceremony.