Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

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

In a hyperbaric oxygen remedy chamber, the air pressure is increased to a few instances higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can collect much more oxygen than can be attainable breathing pure oxygen at regular air pressure.

When your blood carries this extra oxygen throughout your body, this helps fight bacteria and stimulate the discharge of drugs called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s done

Your body’s tissues need an adequate provide 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 therapies, the short-term additional high oxygen levels encourage normal tissue oxygen levels, even after the remedy is completed.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in different ways. Your doctor may recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy if in case you have one of the following conditions:

Severe anemia

Brain abscess

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

Burns

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Crushing injury

Deafness, sudden

Decompression sickness

Gangrene

Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue demise

Nonhealing wounds, reminiscent of 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 remedy is generally a safe procedure. Problems are rare. But this therapy does carry some risk.

Potential risks embody:

Center ear accidents, together with leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, attributable to modifications in air pressure

Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by momentary eye lens adjustments

Lung collapse caused by air pressure adjustments (barotrauma)

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

Lowered blood sugar in people who have diabetes handled with insulin

In sure circumstances, fire — because of the oxygen-rich setting of the therapy chamber

The way you put together

You may be provided with a hospital-approved gown or scrubs to wear rather than regular clothing in the course of the procedure.

To your safety, items equivalent to lighters or battery-powered gadgets that generate heat aren’t allowed into the hyperbaric chamber. In addition, chances are you’ll have to remove hair and skin care products which are petroleum primarily based, as they’re a potential fire hazard. Your health care group will provide instruction on getting ready you to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen remedy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure but can be provided while you are hospitalized.

Typically, there are types of hyperbaric oxygen chambers:

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

A room designed to accommodate several people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which often looks like a large hospital room — you may sit or lie down. You might obtain oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

Whether you are in an individual or multiperson atmosphere for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the benefits are the same.

During therapy, the air pressure in the room is about two to 3 occasions the traditional air pressure. The elevated air pressure will create a short lived feeling of fullness in your ears — just like what you may feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You possibly can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For many conditions, hyperbaric oxygen remedy lasts approximately two hours. Members of your health care group will monitor you and the remedy unit throughout your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Your therapy staff assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. If in case you have diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. As soon as the workforce decides you might be ready, you may get dressed and leave.

Chances are you’ll feel considerably tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn’t limit regular activities.

Results

To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you may likely want more than one session. The number of sessions relies upon your medical condition. Some conditions, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, might be handled in three visits. Others, reminiscent of nonhealing wounds, may require forty treatments or more.

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