Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen in a patient’s blood using a combination of elevated ambient pressure and inspired oxygen concentration, which will increase the amount of oxygen in the blood significantly. The oxygen concentration will become elevated, which will allow the oxygenation of tissues that are not receiving enough oxygen at baseline while also encouraging new blood vessels to grow into these tissues that are oxygen deprived. Lastly, it helps the body eliminate and kill certain kinds of bacteria.
There are several conditions and injuries that can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including carbon monoxide poisoning. Air or gas embolism, which occurs when gas bubbles enter a person’s arteries or veins, can also be treated with this form of therapy as can decompression sickness, compartment syndrome, severe anemia and arterial insufficiencies. Delayed radiation injuries and those suffering from osteomyelitis will also benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Other effects of this therapy include the shrinking of air bubbles in the patient’s blood or tissue and decreasing the effects of inflammation and reperfusion injury.
A consultation is always necessary before beginning this form of treatment and a hyperbaric physician must first perform a history check and a physical to determine whether or not this treatment is suitable for you. They will discuss the details of the procedure in great detail and may request additional testing before proceeding. You must then speak to a respiratory therapist who will go over the sequence of events, as well as the risks and safety precautions associated with it.
If they decide that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is appropriate for your condition, you will proceed by going through the different stages that are part of a typical treatment. The first stage consists of compression, during which the chamber is pressurized to the prescribed pressure. The patient will breathe 100% oxygen through a hood while the chamber is maintained at the prescribed pressure. There will be two air breaks given to the patient during the oxygen breathing period so that they can remove the hood and drink some water. Once the oxygen periods are over, the chamber will be depressurized and the treatment is finished.
Each treatment will last a little over two hours, but can sometimes take longer depending on the patient. The number of treatments required, as well as the frequency, will vary from one condition to another and depends on what the patient is being treated for. If you want more details, Ontario HBOT Burn Healing can answer all of your questions regarding this form of treatment and how oxygen therapy can treat burns and other conditions. Contact them today to find out more.