|Improved care By promoting healing of the problem wound HBO can improve the quality of life. Addition of hyperbaric therapy to a patient care program can mean the difference between disability or death,and healing.||Lower costs HBOT can stop losses resulting from prolonged disability. By accelerating healing and reducing the length of hospital stay, hyperbaric oxygen treatment coincides with cost-containment goals of major insurance providers.||Shorter stay Patients treated with adjunctive HBO may spend fewer days in the hospital. In some cases, prompt adjunctive HBO has resulted in reductions in length of stay by as much as 30 - 50 percent, compared to matched groups of patients treated conventionally.|
Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Any free gas trapped in the body will decrease in volume as pressure exerted on it increases
(Boyle's Law). Reduction in bubble size may allow it to pass through the circulation, or at least travel into a smaller vessel which will reduce the size of any resulting infarction. This effect is useful in the management of gas embolism and decompression sickness.
- Flooding the body with oxygen forces the rapid elimination of other gases, thus reducing damage caused by toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. The elevated pressures used during hyperbaric oxygen therapy further accelerates the elimination process.
- Hyperbaric oxygen acts as an alpha-adrenergic drug. Vasoconstriction can result in reduction of edema following burns or crush injuries. Even with a reduction in blood flow, enough extra oxygen is carried by the blood so a net increase in tissue oxygen delivery occurs with hyperbaric oxygen.
- Anaerobic bacteria don't contain the natural defenses to protect them from the superoxides, peroxides and other compounds formed in the presence of high oxygen tensions. More important, many of the body's bacterial defense mechanisms are oxygen dependent. When tissue pO2 drops too low, effective ingestion and killing by phagocytic leukocytes is retarded. Reoxygenation of those tissues allows phagocytosis and other host defense mechanisms to come back into play.
- Hyperbaric oxygen physically dissolves extra oxygen into the plasma (Henry's Law). The quantity of oxygen carried and transferred to ischemic tissue by the blood is increased. Relieving the ischemia with this increased oxygenation promotes osteoclastic and osteoblastic activity, collagen matrix formation and the breakdown of many toxins. The extra oxygen also helps the
ischemic tissue meet the increased metabolic need required by healing processes.
How safe is HBOT and are there side effects?
There are no known side effects to HBOT. There are, however, certain illnesses for which HBOT is not advised. In addition, clients suffering from colds, sinusitis and other types of congestion are strongly recommended to take extra precautions which may delay entering the chamber to avoid problems associated with the pressurization changes.
What can be treated with HBOT?
HBOT can be used to treat all conditions which
will benefit from greatly increased tissue oxygen availability.
HBOT has angiogenic properties -- that is, the growing of new
blood vessels. It can be used for its antibiotic properties as
either a primary therapy or as an
adjunctive to other procedures or medications. A unique and valuable attribute of HBOT lies in its ability to bring back brain cells or neurons that have been compromised by hypoxic or neurotoxic accidents into full body bio-electric activity. Those brain cells that have been compromised and are "idling" have the potential to regain all or part of their original functioning ability.
The following is a partial listing of the illnesses and/or injuries for which HBOT can be prescribed: