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Hyperbaric Medicine

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Simple and Effective

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment in which the patient breathes 100% oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. The therapy quickly delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the bloodstream, assists in the healing process of wounds and is effective in fighting certain types of infections. It also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and improves circulation. Treatments are administered daily (Monday through Friday) and the number you receive will depend on your diagnosis.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat a variety of conditions including:

  • Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds
  • Crush injuries
  • Gas gangrene
  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Radiation tissue damage
  • Skin grafts and flaps
  • Brown recluse spider bite
  • Diabetic wounds of the lower extremity

When You Arrive at the Center

After an initial consultation and examination at the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, you will be ready to begin your therapy. When you arrive, you will receive complete instructions regarding your treatment. Before starting, you will change into a 100% cotton garment provided by the center. For safety reasons, no other clothing may be worn inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

What to Expect During Treatment

Once you are comfortably positioned inside the chamber, the pressure will gradually be increased and the temperature will temporarily rise. You may experience fullness in your ears as a result of the increased pressure. The technician will instruct you in ways to help clear the pressure and relieve any discomfort. Most treatment sessions in the chamber last approximately two hours. While undergoing treatment, you may watch TV or videos, simply relax or even sleep.

When your treatment is complete, the chamber is restored to normal pressure and the interior of the chamber will cool somewhat. Our technician and staff will guide you through the entire process.

For More Information
If you have questions or need further information, call the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at St. Mary's Medical Center
at 816-655-5780.