Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy entails breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established therapy for decompression sickness, a possible risk of scuba diving. Other conditions handled with hyperbaric oxygen therapy embody serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that will not heal on account of diabetes or radiation injury.

In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is elevated to three times higher than regular air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather a lot more oxygen than can be doable breathing pure oxygen at regular air pressure.

When your blood carries this extra oxygen all through your body, this helps combat micro organism and stimulate the discharge of drugs called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s performed

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 will increase the quantity of oxygen your blood can carry. With repeated scheduled remedies, the non permanent additional high oxygen levels encourage regular tissue oxygen levels, even after the therapy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy is used to treat a number of medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in several ways. Your physician might counsel hyperbaric oxygen remedy if you have one of many following conditions:

Extreme anemia

Brain abscess

Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)

Burns

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Crushing injury

Deafness, sudden

Decompression sickness

Gangrene

An infection of skin or bone that causes tissue loss of life

Nonhealing wounds, resembling a diabetic foot ulcer

Radiation injury

Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue loss of life

Traumatic brain injury

Vision loss, sudden and painless

Risks

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is mostly a safe procedure. Problems are rare. But this remedy does carry some risk.

Potential risks include:

Middle ear accidents, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, on account of modifications in air pressure

Short-term nearsightedness (myopia) caused by momentary eye lens modifications

Lung collapse caused by air pressure adjustments (barotrauma)

Seizures on account of an excessive amount of oxygen (oxygen toxicity) in your central nervous system

Lowered blood sugar in individuals who have diabetes handled with insulin

In sure circumstances, fire — due to the oxygen-rich setting of the treatment chamber

The way you put together

You may be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear rather than common clothing during the procedure.

In your safety, items akin to lighters or battery-powered units that generate heat usually are not allowed into the hyperbaric chamber. In addition, you could need to remove hair and skin care products which might be petroleum based, as they’re a possible fire hazard. Your health care group will provide instruction on preparing you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

During hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure however can be provided while you might be hospitalized.

Usually, there are two types of hyperbaric oxygen chambers:

A unit designed for 1 person. In a person (monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic chamber.

A room designed to accommodate several people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a big hospital room — chances are you’ll sit or lie down. You may receive oxygen via a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

Whether you’re in a person or multiperson surroundings for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the benefits are the same.

Throughout therapy, the air pressure in the room is about to 3 times the traditional air pressure. The increased air pressure will create a brief feeling of fullness in your ears — similar to what you might feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You possibly can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For many conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy lasts approximately hours. Members of your health care workforce will monitotherwise you and the therapy unit throughout your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen remedy

Your remedy crew assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. When you’ve got diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. Once the group decides you might be ready, you may get dressed and leave.

You might feel somewhat tired or hungry following your treatment. This does not limit regular activities.

Results

To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen remedy, you’ll likely want more than one session. The number of periods is dependent upon your medical condition. Some conditions, reminiscent of carbon monoxide poisoning, could be handled in three visits. Others, equivalent to nonhealing wounds, could require forty therapies or more.

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