What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen while the pressure of a treatment chamber is increased.
 

  • Provides a decrease in inflammation

  • Mobilizes and migrates stem cells to areas of injury

  • Maximizes the efficiency of wound healing at every stage

  • Optimizes and potentially re-vitalizes cells not functioning at maximal capacity

  • Patients should be medically cleared and obtain a prescription to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works

In each session, the patient enters an oxygen chamber, where the air pressure increases slowly. Patients can often listen to music or watch TV and feel no differently than if they were in a normal pressure environment. The idea is to increase the amount of oxygen in the body’s tissues and red blood cells. The process can change the way the body heals.

FAQs: Frequently asked hyperbaric questions

What are the benefits of hyperbaric treatment?


It has long been known that healing many areas of the body cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. In many cases, such as circulatory problems and non-healing wounds, adequate oxygen cannot easily reach the damaged area. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy provides this extra oxygen with minimal side effects. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the quality of life of the patient in many areas. Many conditions such as PTSD and stroke have responded favorably to hyperbaric treatment.




What conditions does hyperbaric therapy treat?


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat conditions, which benefit from increased oxygen availability, as well as infections where it can be used for its antibiotic properties. See "Medical Conditions" below.




What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment, which enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled.
Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. Oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the lymphatic system, the central nervous system fluids, and the bone.
Oxygen can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach the damaged tissues helping the body to support its own healing process. The increased oxygen enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas.




Are there different types of hyperbaric chambers?


There are two types of chambers: monoplace and multiple. Monoplace chambers are designed to treat a single person. Multiplace chambers are designed to hold several people at one time and oxygen is delivered through a mask or a hood.




How is hyperbaric treatment administered?


Trained hyperbaric oxygen technicians monitor and communicate with their patients, who are in constant view. Patients can listen to music, read, or just rest.





Doctors may recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat several different medical conditions

The 15 currently covered U.S. indications


  • Acute carbon monoxide intoxication
  • Decompression illness
  • Gas embolism
  • Gas gangrene
  • Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia. HBO therapy is a valuable adjunctive treatment to be used in combination with accepted standard therapeutic measures when loss of function, limb, or life is threatened
  • Crush injuries and suturing of severed limbs
  • Progressive necrotizing infections (necrotizing fasciitis)
  • Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
  • Preparation and preservation of compromised skin grafts (not primary management of wounds)
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis, unresponsive to conventional medical and surgical management
  • Osteoradionecrosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Actinomycosis, only as an adjunct to conventional therapy when the disease process is refractory to antibiotics and surgical treatment
  • Diabetic wounds of the lower extremities in patients who meet the following criteria:
    • Patient has type1 or type 11 diabetes and has a lower extremity wound that is due to diabetes
    • Patient has a wound classified as Wagner grade 111 or higher
    • Patient has failed an adequate course of standard wound therapy




The non-covered U.S. off-label indications


  • Nonvascular causes of chronic brain syndrome
  • Pick’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Korsakoff’s disease
  • Cutaneous, decubitus, and stasis ulcers
  • Chronic peripheral vascular insufficiency
  • Anaerobic septicemia and infection other than clostridial
  • Skin burns (thermal)
  • Senility. (Vascular, Alzheimer’s or FTD)
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Acute thermal and chemical pulmonary damage, such as smoke inhalation with pulmonary insufficiency
  • Acute or chronic cerebral vascular insufficiency
  • Hepatic necrosis
  • Aerobic septicemia
  • Tetanus
  • Systemic aerobic infection
  • Organ transplantation
  • Organ storage
  • Pulmonary emphysema
  • Exceptional blood loss anemia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arthritic Diseases
  • Acute cerebral edema
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Stem Cell Recruitment
  • Stroke




Medical Conditions


  • Acute carbon monoxide intoxication
  • Decompression illness
  • Gas embolism
  • Gas gangrene
  • Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia.
  • Crush injuries and suturing of severed limbs.
  • Progressive necrotizing infections (necrotizing fasciitis)
  • Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
  • Preparation and preservation of compromised skin grafts (not for primary management of wounds)
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis, unresponsive to conventional medical and surgical management
  • Osteoradionecrosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Actinomycosis, only as an adjunct to conventional therapy when the disease process is refractory to antibiotics and surgical treatment
  • Diabetic wounds of the lower extremities in patients who meet the following three criteria: Patient has type I or type II diabetes and has a lower extremity wound that is due to diabetes; Patient has a wound classified as Wagner grade III or higher; and Patient has failed an adequate course of standard wound therapy.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • PTSD
  • Sever anemia
  • Brain abscess
  • Bubbles of air in your blood vessels
  • Burns
  • Decompression sickness
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injury
  • Deafness, sudden
  • Gangrene
  • Infection of skin or bone
  • Nonhealing wounds
  • Radiation injury
  • Skin graft or skin flap
  • Vision loss





Information provided by Hyperbaric Medicine International does not constitute medical recommendations, and is intended for informational purposes only.

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