MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
What is Hyperbaric
is used to treat a wide variety of illness that respond to the
administration of 100% oxygen in a controlled, pressurized
chamber. Patients breathe 100% oxygen under pressure allowing
the oxygen to be dissolved into the plasma in amounts greater
than can be achieved normally.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
oxygen is delivered to the patient in a pressurized chamber,
which greatly increases the amount of dissolved oxygen in the
blood stream. The blood stream then delivers the oxygen to the
parts of the body in need thus stimulating wound healing.
patient's body has received enough hyperbaric oxygen therapy
they may realize the following benefits:
Increased tissue oxygenation
Improved wound healing
Increased number of blood vessels in wounded areas
Enhanced infection control
Preservation of compromised tissues
Elimination of toxic substances and or reduction of damaging
effects of toxic substances (i.e. carbon monoxide)
Hyperbaric Therapy being used for Today?
Hyperbaric therapy is approved for use in the following
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis
Crush Injuries with Acute Traumatic Ischemia
Acute Cyanide Poisoning
Acute Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning
Preservation of Compromised Skin Flaps and Grafts
Radiation Cystitis, Radiation Proctitis
Selected, Anaerobic Infections & Refractory Problem Wounds
Soft Tissue Radiation Injury
Selected Non-healing Diabetic Wounds
the Chamber Like?
sit in a large steel chamber; ours measures 25 feet in length
and has an internal diameter of 6 feet. The chamber is so large
that it can comfortably seat 12 people at a time allowing
patients to sit upright or recline during the treatment.
Communication is maintained visually through windows and video
cameras. Intercoms and telephones allow for verbal
communications between the outside tenders and the persons
inside the chamber. Medical personnel always accompany patients
during hyperbaric treatments.
patients are comfortably seated in the chamber, the actual
treatment begins by circulating compressed air inside the
chamber. When the pressurization begins, one's ears may begin to
feel "full" much like they do when flying or traveling in the
mountains. Patients are instructed how to relieve the pressure
in their ears prior to beginning the treatment and again during
the treatment. Patients will be required to clear their ears
several times during the first 10-15 minutes of each treatment
until the proper treatment pressure is reached. While the
pressure is being increased, the patient may notice that the
temperature in the chamber may become a little warm; however,
this will pass as soon as the final pressure is attained.
As soon as
the proper pressure is reached, the fullness in the ears will
stop and the oxygen will be applied. Once the oxygen is applied,
one can sleep, listen to music, watch a movie on closed circuit
television, read, or just simply relax. In addition, the patient
will receive a number of "air breaks" where the oxygen supply is
exchanged for regular air during the treatment. When the
treatment is over, the chamber will be decompressed. During
decompression the temperature will cool off a little, and the
patient's ears will make a popping or cracking sound as the ears
Feel Different Under Pressure?
answer is No. Our bodies are made almost entirely of water and
water does not compress; therefore, we do not feel any
difference under pressure with the exception of the fullness in
our ears in the beginning of each treatment.
Ho Do I
Clear My Ears?
several ways to clear your ears once the pressure in the chamber
begins to be increased. The simplest way is to swallow a little
water or swallow while holding your nose. Another way to clear
or "pop" your ears is to take a deep breath, close your mouth,
pinch your nose and then try to blow the air out through your
pinched nose. This may sound a little complicated; however, with
a little practice with the staff it is really easy.
I Receive the Oxygen?
deliver the oxygen to you in many different ways. We will
usually use whatever method is most comfortable for you;
however, sometimes we need to use one method over another to
assure that the oxygen is properly administered. Usually we use
a large clear plastic bubble, which fits comfortably over a
patient's head, or we use an aviation-type facemask. For
patients with special needs, such as tracheotomies or ventilator
support, we have special adapters which attach to the particular
There Any Side Effects to Hyperbaric Therapy?
As with all
medical treatment there are possible side effects, although hyperbaric therapy
has relatively few; in addition to the ears listed above, some
of the more frequent include:
blockage. Hyperbaric therapy is a completely painless
multiple treatments are given over a long period of time
temporary blurred vision may occur.
Some persons observe lightheadedness for the first five minutes
or so following the treatment.
This list is not a complete list and individuals may observe
individual responses to treatment not listed here, although
these represent the most prevalent side effects.
In addition, there are a few relative contraindications for hyperbaric therapy.
The hyperbaric physician prior to beginning treatment
reviews these with each patient.
Would be Giving me my Treatments?
All of our
clinical staff is specially trained in the area of hyperbaric
medicine and our team includes members with diverse backgrounds,
which gives us a much deeper appreciation for each patient's
needs. Our team is composed of physicians, nurses, a respiratory
therapist, educators, a data entry specialist and others all
dedicated to assuring that the patients receive optimal care
from the very first minute they enter the program. Our center
also maintains a board-certified hyperbaric physician on call 24
hours a day.
I Get More Information About Hyperbaric Therapy?
pick up the phone and give us a call at 239-343-0454. Our hours
are 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.