Hyperbaric oxygen therapy allows the patient to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood stream by breathing pure oxygen surrounded by increased pressure. When you breathe oxygen through a mask without pressure, only your red blood cells carry the oxygen. When you are in a chamber at increased pressure, your red blood cells and your plasma (the fluid around your red blood cells) carry the oxygen increasing the concentration of oxygen that gets to your tissues. Healing takes place when your oxygen level in your blood is above 30 mmHg. In the elevated pressures of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, the oxygen content in you can be up to 650 mmHg of oxygen. To be effective, the pressure must be above 1.5 atmospheres or 22 psi which can only be done in a hard shelled chamber.
• Saturates body fluids with oxygen, up to six times normal. Increases available oxygen supply to cells, which allows them to function beyond a “maintenance” status, or to be “jump-started” and into a functioning state. Hyperoxygenated cells perform at an optimal level with less energy expended.
• Allows oxygen to cross the blood brain barrier effortlessly, providing a source of readily available molecular oxygen for immediate use by the brain tissue. It allows cells to metabolize vital glucose, which is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters essential in brain function, without expending extra energy which would use vital nutrients. (Glucose is metabolized throughout the body for energy on a daily basis)
• Increases the availability of neurotransmitters
• Increases the amount of stem cells circulating in the body (University of Pennsylvania Study)
• Stimulates the growth of new capillaries (tiny blood vessels) which allows circulation to be restored or improved, and this reduces or eliminates hypoxia in affected areas. An increased network of blood vessels promotes deeper circulation of oxygen and nutrients under normal conditions. Normal circulation allows certain medicines and antibiotics to penetrate farther into muscles and tissues which also helps to combat micro-organism growth
• Stimulates connective tissue cells, which are rich in collagen, and promotes the growth of new skin
• Stimulates molecular and enzymatic changes, and increases the ability of white blood cells to remove foreign bodies from the bloodstream including bacteria, fungi, dead cells and waste by-products
• Stimulates the process involved in the normal remodeling of bone
• Stimulates the immune response
• Increases the production of glutathione by 15 percent
• Reduces swelling and mitigates damage to the surrounding cells, tissues and blood vessels (the cascade effect), which is particularly important to brain injuries. Reducing swelling (edema) in the brain lowers intracranial pressure. Is also a useful adjunct in treating trauma to the body, and certain sports injuries
• Reduces the effect of radiation-induced injury to bone, soft tissue and organs by triggering the healing response to these areas
• Inhibits the growth of some bacteria and kills anaerobic organisms (non-oxygen tolerant) such as those found in gas gangrene and certain Lyme spirochetes. Improves performance of some antibiotics and medications
• Reduces or eliminates the clotting effect that results from the return of blood flow to constricted areas (reperfusion injury) and helps deaggregate platelets
• Mitigates the damaging effects of carbon monoxide on the body and brain
• Removes from the bloodstream the gas bubbles that cause “the bends”
FDA-Approved Uses in the U.S.
Click condition below for more info
Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue & Bony Necrosis)
Idiopathic Sudden Sensprineural Hearing Loss
“Off-Label” Uses in the U.S. and Worldwide
Acute Altitude Sickness
Chronic Lyme Disease
Crush Injuries-Acute Trauma
Peripheral Nerve Damage
Sickle Cell Disease
Skin Grafts & Flaps
What is HBOT?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment which enhances the body's natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. It is used for a wide variety of treatments usually as a part of an overall medical care plan.
Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body's fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas. It is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.
What are the benefits of HBOT?
It has long been known that healing many areas of the body cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. Most illnesses and injuries occur, and often linger, at the cellular or tissue level. In many cases, such as: circulatory problems; non-healing wounds; and strokes, adequate oxygen cannot reach the damaged area and the body's natural healing ability is unable to function properly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides this extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the quality of life of the patient in many areas when standard medicine is not working. Many conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, head injuries, and chronic fatigue have responded favorably to HBOT.
What can HBOT treat?
Traditional uses for HBOT include:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Compartment Syndrome/Crush Injury/Other Traumatic Ischemias
Decompression Sickness (Bends)
Diabetic and Selected Wounds
Exceptional Blood Loss (Anemia)
Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection
Osteoradionecrosis and Radiation Tissue
Skin Grafts and (Compromised) Flaps
Non-traditional, “off-label", conditions can also benefit from HBOT:
Recovery from Plastic Surgery
Traumatic Brain Injury
Tell me about the HBOT chamber
There are basically two types of chambers: monoplace and multiplace.
Monoplace chambers are designed to treat a single person pressurized with 100% oxygen.
Multiplace chambers are designed to hold several people at one time and oxygen is delivered through a mask or a hood.
How should I prepare for treatment?
How is HBOT administered?
Is HBOT safe?
What are the side effects?
What information do I need to share with my technician prior to receiving HBOT treatment?
- If you have any cold or flu symptoms, fever, sinus or nasal congestion, or chest congestion.
- If there is a possibility that you may be pregnant.
- If there has been a change in any of your medications.
- If you have skipped a meal prior to your HBO treatment.
- If you are diabetic and did not take your insulin prior to your treatment.
- If you have any concerns or anxiety.
Does hyperbaric oxygen help brain injury or stroke?
Can HBOT help with cerebral palsy (CP) or traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
In CP and TBI patients, some of the injured brain tissues may be "dormant" and non-functioning. HBOT can stimulate these "dormant" tissues and return them to more normal function. In young children, cognitive function and spasticity can be improved.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, used in conjunction with other therapies, ensures the best recovery possible for children with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.