Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Who Makes a Good Candidate?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been rising in popularity in recent years due to its safe and pain-free way to heal wounds.
The treatment provides pure oxygen under high pressure to help damaged tissue heal. Read on to learn more about who makes a good candidate for receiving this type of oxygen therapy.
What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
The human body possesses amazing healing abilities that activate when you get a cut or break a bone. Oxygen is at the forefront of this process, as it repairs cells and helps tissue regenerate. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (or HBOT) speeds up recovery and promotes healing by helping oxygen penetrate up to three times deeper into damaged tissues.
Who Is a Candidate for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
HBOT was originally used in the military to treat decompression sickness in sea divers, but as time went on, doctors have realized its benefit for many diagnoses. Some of these conditions include:
- Certain non-healing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
- Necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Brain abscess
- Arterial gas embolism
- Severe Anemia
- Decompression sickness
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Cyanide Poisoning
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Compartment Syndrome
- Crushing injury
- Certain Acute Traumatic Ischemia
- Radiation injury
- Sudden deafness
- Sudden vision loss
Goals and Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Researchers and scientists continue to discover new ways to utilize hyperbaric oxygen therapy. There are several potential benefits to receiving this type of therapy, including:
- Helps wounds heal faster
- Reduces inflammation and swelling
- Prevents reperfusion injury
- Blocks harmful bacteria and strengthens the immune system
- Encourages the formation of new connective tissues and skin cells
- Heightens stem cell growth
- Increases the effectiveness of certain antibiotics
How to Prepare for Treatment
If your doctor has decided that you are a good candidate for HBOT, they will outline the precise number of treatments needed and any other details specific to your situation. HBOT is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, so you will be provided with a hospital-approved gown to wear during the procedure. Any exposed wounds will be dressed in clean bandages, and then you will be ready to receive treatment. HBOT sessions generally last between 1-2 hours. You may feel tired afterward, but there are no other significant side effects.
- Heat-generating devices such as lighters or battery-powered electronics are not allowed into the chamber
- You should avoid consuming alcohol for four or more hours before treatment
- Don’t wear makeup, perfume, hair products, deodorant, wigs, or jewelry
- Eat a high-protein meal beforehand