Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
(Hyperbaric Oxygenation; Hyperbarics; Hyperbaric Medicine; HBOT; HBO2)
Reasons for Procedure
- An air bubble (embolism) which gets into the circulatory system and blocks blood flow
- Decompression sickness—which can occur when divers or miners come to the surface too quickly
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Wound healing, especially in those with poor circulation
- Radiation therapy injuries following treatment for cancer
- Skin grafts, flaps, or burns
|Carbon Monoxide Poisoning|
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- Mild discomfort
- Nearsightedness—myopia, which can last for weeks or months
- Sinus damage, ruptured middle ear, or lung damage
- Damage to the eardrum (tympanic membrane)
- Oxygen toxicity, which can cause seizures, fluid in the lungs, or respiratory failure
- Worsening symptoms or increased risk for lung problems in people with heart failure or lung disease
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Bring a book or an activity that you can do in the chamber.
Description of the Procedure
- Relax and breathe normally.
- If your ears pop or you have discomfort, tell the technician. The pressure may be lowered.
- Swallow or blow with your nose pinched to relieve discomfort.
- After getting to the right pressure, place a clear plastic hood or mask over your head. This will deliver oxygen to you.
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
Call Your Doctor
- Discomfort or pain in your sinuses or ears
- Onset of seizures
- Vision problems
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Divers Alert Network http://www.diversalertnetwork.org
The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society http://www.uhms.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Healthy Alberta http://www.healthyalberta.com
Gill AL, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen: Its uses, mechanisms of action and outcomes. QJM. 2004;97:385.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy. Updated April 14, 2011. Accessed November 3, 2014.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. University of Iowa Hospital and Clinicswebsite. Available at: http://www.uihealthcare.org/hyperbaricmedicine. Accessed November 3, 2014.
Recompression therapy. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries%5Fpoisoning/injury%5Fduring%5Fdiving%5For%5Fwork%5Fin%5Fcompressed%5Fair/recompression%5Ftherapy.html. Updated September 2013. Accessed November 3, 2014.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 11/2014 -
- Update Date: 01/15/2014 -