What Testing Is Needed for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
For any wound healing, the wound bed has to be well-vascularized. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) is closely tied to oxygenation of tissues via perfusion and blood supply to those tissues. Testing for vascular compromise is part of the protocol for assessing a patient’s candidacy for HBO therapy.
Vascular compromise can be caused by intrinsic disease, such as cardiovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease: atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and embolic disease on the arterial side and peripheral venous disease (stasis and thrombosis) on the venous side.
Testing via arteriography, venography, and ultrasound are useful in determining any vascular compromise and its extent.
- Vascular compromise can be due to injury: Lacerations and other trauma, including crushing, frostbite, burns, infection, and surgical complications.
- Testing for blood supply both at the site of injury and distal to it is necessary to assess the healing potential.
Anemia is another type of vascular compromise in that reduced numbers of red blood cells deliver less oxygen, the end result of which can be no different from a person without anemia having blood vessel compromise.
- Tests for anemia: Complete Blood Count (CBC)–as well as for causes of anemia (Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency testing) are useful to indicate patients that need this addressed in conjunction with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
- Tests for coagulation: Coagulation defects and their causes (e.g., vitamin K) can be evaluated since they can affect healing and jeopardize the positive effects of hyperbaric therapy.