May 2021: Hyperbaric Awareness Month

WHEREAS, approximately 6.5 million people in the U.S. are living with chronic wounds, and many are not aware of advanced wound care and the beneficial effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy; and,


WHEREAS, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a treatment option for wounds, infections, or injuries that have not responded to standard treatment. There are currently 15 indications for HBOT recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other third-party payors; and,


WHEREAS, HBOT is most commonly used in the treatment of diabetic ulcers of lower extremities, radiation injury to bone or tissue, compromised grafts and flaps, and chronic refractory osteomyelitis; and,


WHEREAS, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Of the 17 million people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., up to 30% of them have received radiation therapy; and,


WHEREAS, about 5 to 15% of patients who undergo radiation therapy may discover radiation tissue injury that may not come to light until years after they concluded treatments. This happens because radiation does not differentiate between cancerous and healthy tissue and can cause a lack of oxygen in the body's tissue, which is needed for the tissue to thrive. If there is a break in the integrity of the tissue, infection and non-healing wounds can occur; and,


WHEREAS, HBOT has emerged as a treatment option for patients who suffer from late side effects of radiation therapy and is believed to help patients by stimulating growth of new blood vessels following radiation-induced damage; and,


WHEREAS, over 34 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 15% of them will develop a foot ulcer, which  may lead to amputation. HBOT provides necessary oxygenation which is critical in limb preservation; and,


WHEREAS, Hyperbaric Awareness USATM and the Hyperbaric AwareTM campaign aim to spread national, statewide, and local awareness to help people suffering from radiation injury, chronic wounds, and diabetes; and,


WHEREAS, Hyperbaric Awareness Month aims to raise awareness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and its benefits for patients who suffer from side effects of radiation therapy and others who live with chronic wounds;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2021 as Hyperbaric Awareness Month in Michigan.