Essentia Health becomes the first hospital in F-M Metro to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Photo Credit: Essentia Health
Photo Credit: Essentia Health

(Fargo, ND)-- With the unveiling of two new hyperbaric chambers, Essentia Health-Fargo has become the first hospital in Fargo-Moorhead to offer the treatment. One of those chambers, funded in part by generous gifts from the Dakota Medical Foundation and Swanson Foundation, will dedicate at least 50% of its operational use to clinical research into the field of HBOT. Essentia is partnering with the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences to conduct the research.

“We are excited to pioneer hospital-based hyperbaric medical services in the area and provide this care in emergent, inpatient and ambulatory settings,” said Dr. Olayinka Ajayi, a physician at Essentia Health-Fargo who specializes in hyperbaric medicine.

Currently, Essentia Health-Fargo uses HBOT to treat 14 conditions approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These include facilitating healing in diabetic patients with foot wounds, thus preventing amputations; treating tissue damage resulting from radiation therapy; and reducing heart and/or brain damage in carbon monoxide poisoning.

Individual treatments — or dives into the chamber — typically last between 1-2 hours. The number of treatments depends on the nature of the condition being treated.

Essentia will be partnering with UND to advance research around the benefits of HBOT. With support from the Dakota Medical Foundation and Swanson Foundation, which are committed to advancing health care in our region.

“We are so grateful for these generous gifts to bring a new and vital service to our community,” said Susan Omdalen, executive director of the Essentia Health Foundation-West. “This new HBOT, and in particular Dr. Ajayi, make a huge impact on the care we provide our patients. We could not offer this expanded service without the support from our community partners.”

Jamestown Regional Medical Center opened the first HBOT chambers regionally, in partnership with Essentia Health, back in 2016.