Uses of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy , or HBOT, is a treatment in which patients breathe 100% oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure. When a person is subjected to 100% oxygen, the hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying molecules) of the red blood cells becomes saturated, delivering higher amounts of oxygen to the tissues and producing many other beneficial physiologic effects that promote the healing process. The physiologic mechanisms that are stimulated by HBOT have shown to be beneficial in the treatment of many different medical conditions, including:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning complicated by cyanide poisoning
- Crush injuries, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemias.
- Severe blood loss anemia
- Air or gas embolism
- Intracranial abscess
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Thermal burns
- Problem wounds that are slow to heal on their own
- Delayed injury from radiation (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections, a rare type of bacterial infection that can destroy the skin, muscles, and other underlying tissues
- Clostridial myonecrosis, also called gas gangrene
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
While patients undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy, they are constantly monitored. The walls of the chamber are made of Plexiglas, allowing the medical personnel to communicate with and monitor each patient quite easily. This feature also makes it possible for patients to watch television or videos while they undergo treatment. Therapy is typically performed on an outpatient basis and lasts from one to two hours. Inside the chamber, pressure can reach up to three times normal atmospheric pressure .
The hyperbaric technicians at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center are licensed by the state of California as Respiratory Care Practitioners and specialize in hyperbaric medicine. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy or how it may help you, contact the friendly staff of West Hills Hospital at (818) 676-4000.