How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?
A hyperbaric chamber greatly increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to body tissues by the blood. All of the benefits provided by hyperbaric oxygen therapy are the result of this extra oxygen being carried within the bloodstream.
There is no benefit from the oxygen within the chamber in direct contact with your wounds. As a result, your dressings will most likely be left in place during the treatment.
Depending on why you've been referred to the hyperbaric medicine service, hyperbaric oxygen therapy will be used to provide you with one or more of the following benefits:
- Increased oxygen delivery to the injured tissue
- Greater blood vessel formation
- Advanced wound healing
- Improved infection control
- Preservation of damaged tissues
- Elimination of toxic substances
- Reduced effects from toxic substances
- Reduction or elimination of tissue obstruction by gas bubbles
Sometimes it only takes one or two hyperbaric treatments to get the above benefits. Other times, however, patients need as many as 40-50 treatments for maximum benefit. We'll discuss your planned treatment with you in detail before starting therapy.