Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The treatment can increase the amount of oxygen in the blood and tissues, which may promote healing and enhance the body’s natural defenses against infection and injury.
During HBOT, the patient enters a chamber that is pressurized with pure oxygen, typically at 1.5 to 3 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level. The patient breathes the oxygen through a mask or mouthpiece, while resting or watching TV. The treatment session typically lasts for 60 to 90 minutes.
HBOT has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, such as:
- Decompression sickness, a condition that affects scuba divers who rise too quickly from deep water
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Healing of certain types of wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers or radiation-induced tissue damage
- Certain infections, such as gangrene or necrotizing fasciitis
- Radiation injury from cancer treatment
- Other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, or autism
HBOT is generally considered a safe procedure, but it is not appropriate for everyone. People with certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled high fever, severe lung disease, or untreated pneumothorax, may not be good candidates for HBOT and should consult with their healthcare provider before pursuing the treatment.
The length and frequency of HBOT treatments will depend on the patient’s condition and response to treatment. Some conditions may require only a few sessions, while others may require daily or weekly treatment over several weeks or months.
Overall, HBOT can be an effective way to promote healing and enhance the body’s natural defenses against infection and injury, when used appropriately and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
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