Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in different ways. Your physician may suggest hyperbaric oxygen therapy if 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 death

  • Nonhealing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer

  • Radiation injury

  • Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Vision loss- sudden and painless

What to Expect During Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

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

In general, there are two 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 clear plastic chamber.

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

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

During therapy, the air pressure in the room is about two to three times the normal air pressure. The 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, hyperbaric oxygen 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

Your therapy team assesses you including looking in your ears and taking your blood pressure and pulse. If you have diabetes, your blood glucose is checked. Once the team decides you are ready, you can get dressed and leave.

You may feel somewhat tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn't limit normal activities.

© 2019  for Louisiana Cardiovascular & Limb Salvage Center

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