What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for many conditions. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased up to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.
Why it’s done?
Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in different ways. Your doctor may suggest hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you have one of the following conditions:
Anemia, severe Brain abscess Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism) Burn Decompression sickness Carbon monoxide poisoning Crushing injury Deafness, sudden Gangrene Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death Non healing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer Radiation injury Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death Vision loss, sudden and painles
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can effectively treat the following conditions:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Spinal cord injury
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally a safe procedure when done by a medical expert. Complications are rare. How you prepare Pure oxygen can cause fire if a spark or flame ignites a source of fuel. Because of this, you can’t take items such as lighters or battery-powered devices into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber. In addition, to limit sources of excess fuel, you may need to remove hair and skin care products that are petroleum based and potentially a fire hazard. Ask a member of your health care team for specific instructions before your first hyperbaric oxygen therapy session. What you can expect During hyperbaric oxygen therapy Hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure and doesn’t require hospitalization.
Increased air pressure will create a temporary feeling of fullness in your ears — similar to what you might feel in an airplane or at a high elevation.
You can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.
For most conditions, therapy lasts approximately two hours. Members of your health care team will monitor you and the therapy unit throughout your treatment.
After hyperbaric oxygen therapy You may feel somewhat tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn’t limit normal activities.
To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll likely need more than one session. The number of sessions depends on your medical condition. To effectively treat complex conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and administered with other therapies and drugs that fit your individual needs.
Clinical trials and articles
Hyperbaric Oxygen for Ulcerative Colitis, Rochester, MN
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, PS Grim, LJ Gottlieb, A Boddie, E Batson – Jama
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for necrotizing fasciitis reduces mortality and the need for debridements, JA
Riseman, WA Zamboni, A Curtis, DR Graham
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and cerebral ischemia: neuroprotective mechanisms, GA Matchett, RD Martin, JH
Zhang *data source: Mayo Clinic, Florida, USA
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