Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical procedure where patients are placed under increased atmospheric pressure while breathing 100% oxygen. This type of therapy has proven to be effective for a number of medical and surgical conditions, either as a primary treatment or in addition to other medical treatments such as wound care, antibiotics or surgery.
In HBOT, the oxygen percentage administered to the patient is near 100%, almost five times more than in air. The combination of increased pressure and this high concentration of oxygen causes large amounts of oxygen to be dissolved into the blood and tissue. This dissolved oxygen can penetrate to areas of the body that oxygen-carrying red blood cells cannot reach, sustaining tissues that receive poor blood flow. The increased oxygen levels in the tissues stimulate healing processes including the growth of new blood vessels, the migration of white blood cells to fight infection and the proliferation of fibroblasts, which manufacture new tissue.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is used in the treatment of bone and soft tissue injuries resulting from radiation therapy, chronic non-resolving osteomyelitis, select problem wounds, decompression illness from scuba diving, arterial gas embolism, gas gangrene and carbon monoxide poisoning.