Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is administered to patients in a monoplace, or multiplace, chamber depending on their condition. During this process, the patient is exposed to 100% oxygen, which promotes healing throughout their body and the fighting of infections. It is used to treat many medical conditions, as well as non-healing wounds. A referral is, however needed from a general physician or wound specialist.
What Does It Do?
The main aim of HBOT is to increase the amount of oxygen reaching body tissue. The natural healing of a wound is stimulated by oxygen but when infection sets in, the level of oxygen reaching the wound site is reduced- slowing down the healing process. During HBOT, a patient is exposed to 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The oxygen that we breath on a daily basis is approximately only 21% oxygen. The air pressure in the chamber is increased to three times that of our normal air pressure. This allows the lungs to take in more oxygen, than would be possible under normal circumstances, which is then quickly absorbed and dissolved into the bloodstream. The increase in oxygen temporarily restores normal functioning of the tissues to promote healing of the wound and to fight infection.
The HBOT Process
A general physician or specialist will refer you for HBOT treatment, where a hyperbaric medicine specialist will perform an assessment. Depending on your condition, they will decide if you will be placed in a monoplace chamber, for one person, or a multiplace chamber, where several people receive treatment in the same room at the same time.
Those in a multiplace chamber will receive an oxygen hood which is placed over their head, ensuring that each patient directly receives 100% oxygen. The specialist will decide on your course of treatment and how many sessions you will need, with each session generally lasting between 30 to 90 minutes.
What Can It Treat?
HBOT has been proven to treat those suffering from the following conditions:
- Severe Anemia
- Decompression Sickness
- Gas Poisoning
- Damage from Radiation
- Non-Healing Wounds
- Skin Grafts
- Infection of the Skin or Bone
- Brain Abscess
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Benefits
Oxygen controls more than 8000 genes in the body and is arguably one of the most natural and healthy forms of antibiotics. We know that oxygen promotes the fighting of infection and healing of wounds but how does it do it? With one of the main HBOT benefits increasing the amount of oxygen in the body, it allows for the following to happen
- It stimulates the growth of new blood vessels.
- Increases blood flow throughout the body.
- Increases the immune system’s ability to recognize and fight infection.
- Reduces swelling of the damaged areas or injury site.
- Promotes healing by increasing the level of oxygen being transported to the wound site.
When simply cleaning, treating and dressing the wound is not enough, further action needs to be taken before the situation gets worse and more invasive action needs to be taken. Unlike antibiotics and other medications, HBOT is possibly the most natural form of treatment. With the increase of oxygen in your bloodstream, it allows your body to fight the infection on its own.
To find out more information on how to establish a wound care center at your hospital or to find a HBOT center near you contact CutisCare – we are your resource for flexible, customized healthcare solutions for wound care and hyperbaric medicine.