Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is a medical treatment that increases the amount of oxygen in the patient’s blood, allowing oxygen to pass more easily through the plasma into the wounds to heal them. HBO chambers surround patients with 100% oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressures.
Usually there’s no benefit to increasing the level of oxygen in the body for normal, healthy individuals. People with certain medical conditions do benefit from increased levels of oxygen.
If you have a wound that hasn’t healed in four weeks, consult the Wound Care Center because hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be part of the treatment plan. A physician will evaluate your wound and determine the best course of treatment.
Some candidates are diabetics who have wounds that are slow to heal, people with wounds that haven’t shown improvement in four weeks, people with certain bone and skin infections, people with radiation injuries, and people with compromised or failing skin grafts or flaps.
To protect the privacy of our patients, family members may not remain with you during your treatment. A waiting room is provided for their comfort. A trained technician is always in the room during treatment and can communicate with you at any time.
Since safety is our priority, we will provide you with clothing to wear during your treatment. Please do not wear any of the following items when you come to the center for HBO therapy:
If you have a movie you would like to share with other patients, please bring it with you. Otherwise, you don’t need to bring anything. If you have diabetes, make sure you eat before your treatment begins. If your sinuses are congested or you feel ill, let the technician know so we can make you more comfortable.
No, you’ll come here to the Wound Care Center for treatment. Your therapy will be supervised by a specially-trained physician and monitored by a technician each day.
On average, about two hours. This includes the time to pressurize and depressurize the chamber plus 90 minutes at the prescribed treatment depth.
The number of HBO treatments is not pre-set because each person responds differently to the therapy. The average number of treatments required to heal a patient with a problem wound is 20 to 40.
For most chronic wounds, HBO therapy will be completed one time per day on weekdays only.
Medicare has approved coverage for HBO therapy for many types of chronic non-healing wounds. Most private insurance companies follow Medicare’s guidelines, as well. We will review your insurance plan with you before your therapy starts to make sure you know what your costs will be.
No, the only sensation you will experience is during the pressurization phase of the treatment. The slowly increasing pressure will push on your eardrums. This is exactly the same feeling you would experience when landing in an airplane or diving to the bottom of a swimming pool. The hyperbaric staff will instruct you about different methods of relieving this ear pressure.
No, the treatment is very safe. The Wound Care Center has strict procedures that will assure your safety and make your treatment comfortable. Before your first treatment, you will be given a thorough orientation.
Each chamber is equipped with its own screen so that you can watch TV or a movie during your treatment. You may not bring anything in the chamber with you, including books and newspapers. Many patients use the time to catch up on some well-deserved rest.
No, but you can take a bedpan or urinal in with you during your treatment. The staff can finish the treatment early, if required.
Most hyperbaric patients do not suffer from claustrophobia. This could be due to the large size of the chamber or the fact that it has a clear acrylic shell. From inside the chamber, it is possible to see out in all directions. If you still feel anxious about your treatment, the hyperbaric physician can prescribe medication that will relax you and make your treatment less stressful.
The chamber is equipped with two way communication. You can talk to the outside technician at any time. The technician can talk to you through the chamber microphone.
Tell your doctor if you have:
If you have additional questions, please call 865-305-5510.