How Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Used?
When 100% pure oxygen is delivered to a patient in a chamber at a controlled, higher than normal rate of pressure for between 90 minutes and two hours, it’s known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Wounds need oxygen to heal and when blood flow is interrupted due to trauma or disease, cells are starved of oxygen, and wounds cannot heal. Many physicians have successfully used this therapy in patients with failing flap of graft, crush injuries, gangrene, radiation injury, and other chronic non-healing wounds like a diabetic foot ulcer.
Below, we discuss hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a little more detail to give you a better idea of why you should consider adding HBOT to your wound healing therapy programs.
The History Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not new to the medical world. The first recorded use of this therapy was in the early twentieth century, but although it has been used at regular intervals since then, it has only really come into its own in the last decade.
- In the United States, during the early twentieth century, Orville Cunningham used hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat patients affected by the Spanish influenza pandemic.
- In 1917, German inventors Bernard and Heinrich Drager successfully treated patients with decompression illness from diving accidents, and in the 1940s the United States Navy started using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat their divers with decompression sickness.
- In the 1960s, physicians started using this method of treatment to treat patients with carbon monoxide poisoning and it is still used today to treat miners and firefighters with carbon monoxide poisoning, and sick scuba divers.
Why Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Work?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is instrumental in transporting oxygen-rich plasma to the oxygen-starved cells, thereby promoting wound healing by:
- Reducing tissue swelling and flooding the cell with oxygen.
- The body’s natural healing ability is enhanced as oxygen that is normally concentrated in red blood cells, is now dissolved in all body fluids and easily transported to areas where circulation is compromised.
- Preventing reperfusion injury by encouraging the body’s natural oxygen radical scavengers to seek out the problem areas.
- The increased oxygen in the blood assists the body to resist infections by blocking harmful bacteria action and strengthening the body’s immune system.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy encourages new blood vessels, connective tissue, and skin cell formation.
What To Expect During Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
There are two ways that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be administered:
- Monoplace Chamber – the oxygen is administered to one person at a time. The patient will lie in a long, clear acrylic chamber and 100% pure pressurized oxygen is delivered slowly over a specified period of time.
- Multiplace Chamber – The 100% pure pressurized oxygen is delivered in a chamber or room, via mask or hood, to two or more people at a time.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can only be administered by a prescribed healthcare provider, and they brief the patient fully before commencing any treatment sessions. Some instructions given are:
The Duration Of The Treatment
Treatment is usually performed as an outpatient and can last between 90 minutes to two hours per session. Multiple sessions may be prescribed, typically 10 to 30 treatments based on the patient’s diagnosis.
What To Do Before Treatment Sessions
Patients are given clear instructions by their wound care center provider on what to do before each session.
Patients are usually instructed to:
- Eat a balanced meal before coming for the session. The session may take up to two hours and you will not be able to eat during that time.
- Refrain from caffeine and carbonated drinks for a few hours before the treatment session as they sometimes cause stomach discomfort, frequent micturition, and a rise in blood pressure in some people.
- Patients are not to smoke for about two hours before sessions. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and reduces the benefit of the therapy.
- Only clean, pure cotton clothing is to be worn in the chamber.
- No petroleum-based hair or skin products are to be worn.
- Report if they have had recent ear surgery or trauma, cold or fever, or any lung disease.
Why Choose CūtisCare To Start Your Wound Healing Center?
As you can see, we are knowledgeable about hyperbaric oxygen therapy. CūtisCare’s executive management team provides over 60 years of combined healthcare expertise and our Medical Advisory Board consists of physicians with vast experience and knowledge of HBOT technologies and uses. We will align ourselves with your goals and are committed to your wound center’s success.
Have more questions? Call CūtisCare today at (561) 617-7067 or Toll-Free at (866) 844-4063.