For decades, doctors have used hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) to treat conditions ranging from decompression sickness to carbon monoxide poisoning. HBOT has shown to be particularly helpful in treating chronic wounds. The treatment involves being in a pressurized chamber filled with oxygen for up to two hours. In these hyperbaric rooms or chambers, air pressure is almost three times higher than normal pressure. Therefore, patients cannot enter the room with flammable items like cell phones or lighters. Patients often have up to 20 treatments for the full effects of HBOT. Read on to learn more about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen care.
1. Hyperbaric oxygen repairs tissues
Wounded body tissue needs twice as much oxygen as regular tissue to heal. Extra oxygen allows the tissues to regenerate properly while fighting infection.
2. Aids in the healing of diabetic ulcers
Diabetics suffer from chronic wounds and ulcers more than people in other groups due to blood abnormalities. HBOT may be one of the first treatment options for diabetics due to the proven healing effects.
3. Hyperbaric oxygen care is painless
Unlike other wound treatments, HBOT is relatively painless. Risks such as barotrauma, seizures, or myopia are rare and are usually due to the patient’s other medical issues. Patients either sit or lie down for the duration of the treatment which reduces physical strain on the body.
4. HBOT increases white blood cell count
The hemoglobin found in blood is an oxygen-binding protein that helps oxygen travel throughout the blood stream. Much like hemoglobin, white blood cells circulate through the bloodstream and respond to signals of infection. White blood cells travel to the site of infection and destroy lingering bacteria. Some patients have low white blood cell counts which makes wound healing difficult. HBOT increases white cell production and reduces infection risks.
5. Reduces inflammation and pain
The second stage of wound healing is the inflammation stage. During this stage, the wounded area becomes swollen as the body forms blood clots to control bleeding. Hyperbaric oxygen care helps to reduce some of the painful swelling associated with inflammation and promotes better blood circulation.
Want to learn more about this treatment?
If HBOT is something that interests a patient, scheduling an appointment with a doctor to discuss the therapy should be the next step. Contact a local wound care provider to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen care and the benefits.