How Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Managed?
Most hyperbaric oxygen chambers are designed for single occupancy, although there are facilities with chambers that can accommodate more than one person. They are pressurized such that the chambers have an increased atmospheric pressure of 2.5-3 atmospheres (normal = 1 atmosphere).
100% oxygen delivered in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber will, in effect, deliver “250-300%” O2, depending on the atmospheric pressure.
Each therapy session can last from 45-300 minutes and is repeated according to individualized protocols, depending on the indication. For example, some acute conditions require only a few visits, whereas chronic medical conditions may require up to 30 sessions or more.
Uses for hyperbaric oxygen therapy include emergency treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, and arterial gas embolism. Uses related to chronic conditions include
- Necrotizing wounds, including gas gangrene (Clostridium myonecrosis)
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Radiation damage to bone and soft tissue from cancer treatment
- Poorly vascularized skin grafts, flaps, and wound care
- Healing in burn management