By definition, hyperbaric means a level of pressure that is greater than what you can find at sea level. Studies have found that subjecting individuals to high pressure in a small chamber can produce therapeutic effects. In hyperbaric therapy, pure oxygen is used to help people heal from injuries and illnesses. The FDA has approved the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT for a number of conditions. Consult their latest list before embarking on this kind of treatment for your current issue. Below are some of the approved uses:
HBOT is considered as the main cure for decompression illness. It is usually brought about by a rapid ascent after diving to significant depths at sea. The body has not had time to adjust to the change in pressure. Air bubbles might form and expand around the body in what is called gas embolism. This can be fatal if not treated within hours after resurfacing. It often happens when divers run out of oxygen or run into trouble deep below. They panic and come up too quickly. A hyperbaric chamber can help them decompress gradually to decrease the volume of air bubbles in the body.
Anemia from Blood Loss
There are many causes of anemia with each requiring a unique cure. For example, some are caused by vitamin deficiencies so they have to be treated by dietary changes, supplementation, and a healthy lifestyle. Others are caused by severe blood loss. In addition to blood transfusion, the patient may benefit from HBOT to boost blood oxygen levels and recover quicker. A doctor can determine which cases are suitable for this.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent and deadly killer. The gas has no color or smell so it permeates in the air without people knowing about it unless they have a specific sensor in their area. Infected individuals should be removed from the site as quickly as possible. They can go outdoors where they can breathe fresh air while waiting for responders. They may undergo hyperbaric therapy to aid in recovery. It’s a tried and tested treatment which has been in use since 1962.
Burns from Fire
Survivors of fires rarely escape unscathed. Many sustain burns all over their body which would require immediate attention. Hyperbaric therapy can be used along with other methods to hasten the healing process. HBOT may also be used after skin grafts and similar procedures.
Acute Traumatic Ischemia
This is a condition in which blood cannot flow smoothly to the extremeties due to injuries. For example, the patient might have compartment syndrome, crush injuries, or open fractures. This complication can lead to infections, necrosis, and wounds that never heal. If left untreated, it may result in amputation. HBOT can help improve blood flow and heal the affected areas.
Doctors will always do everything that they can to save patients and help them recover fast. In cases where they believe that hyperbaric therapy can help, they will explain the possible risks and benefits to their patients.