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Department of Oncology provides hyperbaric chamber to cancer patients – a first in the Free State
2016-03-21

Description: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy  Tags: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

From the left: De Villiers Brink, Gys Botes (both of the Par3 Golfday group that donated towards the hyperbaric chamber), Dr Alicia Sheriff (Head of the UFS Department of Oncology) and Prof Gert van Zyl (Dean of the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences).

Thanks to the Department of Oncology at the University of the Free State (UFS), cancer patients now have access to a hyperbaric chamber – a medical treatment that enhances the body’s healing process through the inhalation of oxygen.

In order to realise this tremendous addition to the treatment of cancer patients, the Department of Oncology established collaboration between the UFS School of Medicine, the Free State Department of Health, and a group of private donors. Currently the only one in the Free State, the hyperbaric chamber has been installed at the Oncology ward at National Hospital in Bloemfontein and will benefit not only patients from the Free State, but also the North West province and the Northern Cape.

While lying down in the chamber, the patient’s body absorbs more oxygen as a result of the high levels of air pressure. This process stimulates the healing of cancer wounds and various other injuries, including sports injuries.

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head of the Department of Oncology (UFS), says her team is passionate about enhancing the quality of their patients’ lives, even when facing difficult circumstances. “I believe that the hyperbaric chamber is just one way of achieving this, since it helps decrease the harm done by certain medical conditions on the human body,” Dr Sherriff says.

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