With the financial support of Sechrist Industries (Anaheim, California), the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (CMIS) at Ohio State University Medical Center (Columbus) has begun testing the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen medicine on experimental stroke models. CMIS is a multi-disciplinary center dedicated to excellence in patient care, clinical training, research and outcomes studies pertaining to the techniques and technology of minimally invasive surgery.

Currently used for the treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds, carbon monoxide poisoning, crush injuries as well as other indications, the use of hyperbaric medicine for stroke victims is at the forefront of hyperbaric research.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the treatment of the entire body with 100% oxygen at greater-than-normal atmospheric pressures. Hyperbaric medicine greatly increases oxygen concentration in all body tissues, even with reduced or blocked blood flow, stimulates the growth of new blood vessels to locations with reduced circulation (improving blood flow to areas with arterial blockage) and causes a rebound arterial dilation after treatment, resulting in an increased blood vessel diameter greater than when therapy began, thus improving blood flow to compromised organs.

The CMIS team is hopeful that these benefits of hyperbaric oxygen treatments will positively affect stroke patients.

Sechrist makes monoplace hyperbaric chambers.

Synthetic Blood gathers Oxycyte test data

Synthetic Blood International (Costa Mesa, California) said that the company is currently fulfilling additional data requirements posed by the FDA in connection with the protocol for its planned Phase II-b clinical trial of Oxycyte in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. The company expects to have the additional data submitted to the agency by the end of May. Oxycyte is the company's perfluorocarbon (PFC) therapeutic oxygen carrier and blood substitute.

"These are issues that relate to an earlier clinical trial where apparently the data that the FDA had was incomplete. We're providing that information and it is still our goal to begin enrolling and treating TBI patients this summer," said CEO/chairman Chris Stern.

Synthetic Blood International is dedicated to commercializing pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the field of oxygen therapeutics and continuous substrate monitoring.

Tenent opens new El Paso center

Tenet Healthcare (Dallas) reported the opening of its Sierra Providence East Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. Construction on the 110-bed acute-care facility began in spring 2006.

Sierra Providence East Medical Center is located on the eastern side of El Paso. The hospital represents a total initial investment of $143.9 million, including construction and other costs.

The hospital initially will employ about 300 and expects to increase that number to 500.

Tenet owns and operates acute-care hospitals and related ancillary healthcare businesses, which include ambulatory surgery centers and diagnostic imaging centers.