About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy raises the amount of oxygen that enters your body with each breath. This supplies more oxygen to your tissues, which helps wounds heal and white blood cells fight infection.
Why is hyperbaric oxygen therapy prescribed?
Doctors have been using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for about thirty years. Some of its most common uses help treat:
- Acute Thermal Burn Injury
- Air or Gas Embolism
- Arterial Insufficiencies:
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning complicated by Cyanide Poisoning
- Clostridial Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
- Compromised Grafts and Flaps
- Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome and Other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
- Decompression Sickness
- Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)
- Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (New! approved on October 8, 2011 by the UHMS Board of Directors)
- Intracranial Abscess
- Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
- Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
- Severe Anemia
The above list of indications comes from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.
Who performs hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
We are staffed by two hyperbaric physicians, one nurse practitioner, and one certified hyperbaric nurse, all trained in the administration of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In addition there are plastic surgery, radiation therapy, and oncology physicians who work with us to provide therapy for their patients.
How does the chamber work?
The hyperbaric chamber is filled to 100% oxygen and then pressurized to 2 to 2 1/2 times sea level pressure. This allows a high level of oxygen to enter your body.
How does it feel to be in the pressurized chamber?
The therapy does not hurt. You feel as if you are breathing normal air. The only way you would know the pressure is changing is by a popping feeling in your ears, similar to what you might feel in a descending airplane. We are committed to making your treatment as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
How long will treatments take?
Most patients receive about 30 therapy visits. Patients may be asked to come Monday through Friday for about six weeks. Routinely patients are here for about 2-1/2 hours, 90 minutes of it in the chamber.