Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a type of treatment that uses 100% oxygen delivered under pressure. The high concentration of oxygen helps to promote healing by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels, reducing inflammation, and fighting bacteria. HBOT is often used to treat wounds that are slow to heal, infections, and tissue damage from radiation therapy.
It can also be used to relieve certain types of pain and improve cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. While HBOT is generally considered safe, it can cause side effects such as ear pain, sinus pain, and nausea.
As a result, it is important to consult with a medical professional before starting HBOT. This is where Complex Healthcare Solutions comes in. We help patients connect with the best who have sound knowledge on this subject and know what’s best for them.
How It Works
Preparation & Procedure
Preparation for HBOT usually involves a physical examination, as well as a review of your medical history. You’ll also need to remove any jewelry or other objects that could be unsafe in the chamber. Your health care team will provide instruction on preparing you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy. During the procedure, you’ll rest on a table inside the chamber and breathe through an oxygen mask. The procedure involves breathing pure oxygen in a chamber with increased atmospheric pressure.
Aftercare for HBOT typically includes drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding alcohol for 24 hours. You may also be advised to avoid flying or diving for 24 hours after treatment. The medical team will assess your situation at the time and provide clear after-care instructions.
To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll likely need more than one session. The number of sessions is dependent upon your medical condition. Some conditions, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, might be treated in three visits. Others, such as nonhealing wounds, may require 40 treatments or more.
To effectively treat approved medical conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is usually part of a comprehensive treatment plan provided with other therapies and drugs designed to fit your individual needs.
Why Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is Done
Oxygen is essential for the human body – every cell needs it to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen in order to survive. That’s where hyperbaric oxygen therapy comes in. By temporarily increasing the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry, it can help tissue to recover and function at normal oxygen levels again. Sometimes a series of scheduled treatments is necessary to achieve lasting results. But hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be an effective way to help the body heal after an injury.
Medical institutions use hyperbaric oxygen therapy in different ways to treat several medical conditions. Your doctor may suggest hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you have one of the following conditions:
- Workman’s Comp Injuries (Various)
- Diabetic Lower Extremity Injury
- Osteomyelitis and Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis
- Compromised Flaps and Grafts
- Late Effect Radiation Tissue Damage
- Crush injuries
- Acute Peripheral Arterial Insufficiency
- Ischemic Injury
- Progressive Necrotizing Infections
- Gas Gangrene
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally a safe procedure. Complications are rare, but this treatment does carry some risk.
Potential risks include:
- Middle ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, due to changes in air pressure
- Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by temporary eye lens changes
- Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes (barotrauma)
- Seizures as a result of too much oxygen (oxygen toxicity) in your central nervous system
- Lowered blood sugar in people who have diabetes treated with insulin
- In certain circumstances, fire — due to the oxygen-rich environment of the treatment chamber
What you can expect during hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, but can also be provided while you are hospitalized.
In general, there are two types of hyperbaric oxygen chambers:
A unit designed for one person, and a room designed to accommodate several people.
In an individual (monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic chamber.
In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a large hospital room — you may sit or lie down. You may receive oxygen through a mask over your face or from a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.