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Hyperbaric Medicine

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber

The Wound Healing Centers offer hyperbaric oxygen as an advanced treatment to help enhance the body’s wound healing abilities. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a prescribed medical treatment in which you breathe 100% pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber instead of 21% oxygen in normal air. This therapy assists the natural healing by increasing the oxygen concentration in the bloodstream. The increased oxygen a patient gets with this treatment improves circulation, treats infection and fosters new tissue growth. Our trained staff administers the therapy, and each patient is evaluated by a physician each week to determine the progress of healing. Ultimately, a therapy treatment plan will include daily treatment for approximately four to six weeks depending on the diagnosis.

When a patient receives hyperbaric oxygen therapy, they are lying in a clear chamber and have the opportunity to watch television, a movie, listen to music, or sleep.  Since the chamber is pressurized during treatment, patients may feel like they are in an airplane cabin when flying or under water when scuba diving. A nurse will be at the patient’s side and talk with them via intercom to help with the process. Most patients find the treatment relaxing and comfortable.

Generally, patients experience few side effects. The most common side effects are related to the direct effects of the pressure changing: ear pain, fatigue and temporary vision change. If there are any concerns, patients can talk with the nurse and physician during the treatment or visit.

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society’s Oxygen Therapy Committee has recommended hyperbaric oxygen treatment as beneficial in several clinical conditions and we are able to treat the following:

  • Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemic injuries
  • Compromised skin grafts or flaps
  • Thermal burns
  • Other problem wounds complicated by hypoxia and specifically diabetic foot ulcers
  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • Refractory osteomyelitis
  • Osteoradionecrosis
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis

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