By promoting healing of the problem wound, adding HBO therapy can mean the difference between disability, loss of limb, and healing.
Some Of The Many Conditions That We Treat
Frequently Asked Questions
With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) one breathes 100% oxygen at pressures (baric) greater (hyper) than sea level atmospheric pressure, which enhances the body’s natural-healing process virtually risk free. Hyperbaric Medicine grew out of the problems encountered by divers exposed to high pressures. Hyperbaric Medicine represents an emerging medical specialty whose scientific basis, while supported by over 6,000 studies, continues to be explored. Today, HBOT is approved for use in air embolism, blood loss, bone infections, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning (smoke inhalation), crush injuries, decompression sickness, gangrene, soft tissue infections, intracranial abscess, non-healing wounds, radiation tissue damage, and skin grafts.
Other conditions that show evidence of HBOT value as a treatment include: stroke (cerbrovascular accident), head injury (cerebral edema/coma), cerebral palsy, bone-fracture, acute retinal artery occlusion, migraine & cluster headaches, chronic fatigue-syndrome (CFS), sports injuries, AIDS, sickle cell anemia crisis, acute spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (MS), Lyme disease, diabetic retinopathy, colitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and plastic/reconstructive surgery (preparation and recovery). While these conditions are-considered off-label indications for HBOT, there is stronger scientific evidence for a-number of these indications than there is for almost half of all the approved indications; nevertheless, because these conditions are off-label, by law no claims can be made.
Pacific Hyperbarics is under the supervision and directorship of David Greene, MD. He will provide consultation for any indication which HBOT has been shown to benefit. Physician referral is desirable, but no one will be excluded because of lack of physician referral. Patients who seek out HBOT are often facing life-threatening medical problems and have exhausted established medical treatment options, which is why Pacific Hyperbarics adheres to the highest professional and ethical standards when using HBOT for new and unapproved medical indications.
Some preexisting conditions or concurrent therapies can present contraindications to HBO.
Upper respiratory infections and chronic sinusitis make it difficult for the patient to clear his/her ears. Often decongestants are used to open the sinuses.
HBO treatment is absolutely contraindicated for patients with pneumothorax, or collapse lung, and caution is used with HBO treatment if a patient has a history of spontaneous pneumothorax.
HBO is not recommended for patients who have active cancerous conditions on certain chemotherapy agents.
If a woman is pregnant, HBO is not recommended for precautionary reasons, except in life-threatening emergencies.
Barotrauma or ear and sinus discomfort. A patient may experience a fullness and an uncomfortable pressure in the ears. This can be relieved by slowing the rate of descent/ascent so that the patient is comfortable with the change in pressure. Also, decongestants taken prior to treatment is sometimes helpful.
Serous otitis. Rarely, fluid accumulates in the ears as a result of changes in pressure in the ears and sinuses resulting in a possible ruptured membrane. Treatment is the discontinuance of HBOT and a referral to an ENT physician.
Temporary worsening of near-sightedness (Myopia). After twenty or more treatments, especially if the patient is over forty years of age, it is possible to experience a temporary diminution in the ability to focus on things far away. This is temporary and vision typically returns to its pre-treatment level about six weeks after cessation of therapy. It is not advisable to get a new prescription for glasses until at least eight weeks have passed after hyperbaric therapy.
Temporary improvement in far-sightedness (Presbyopia). Also, after twenty or more treatments, especially if the patent is over forty years of age, there is a possibility to experience an improvement in the ability to see things close up or to read without glasses. However, this is temporary and the vision should return to its previous level of acuity in about six weeks following cessation of hyperbaric treatment.
The treatment process may be modified for different types of chambers, either the monoplace or the multi-place chamber. In the monoplace chamber, one person at a time is treated, whereas in the multiplace chamber where more than one patient is treated at the same time, with an attendant present in the chamber. Pacific Hyperbarics utilizes monoplace chambers to treat our patients.
Only 100% cotton clothing like the scrubs provided are permitted in the chamber. No cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants, hair preparations, wigs or jewelry are worn during the treatments. Patients are advised not to take carbonated drinks or alcohol for at least four hours prior to each treatment, and that they should give up smoking and tobacco products, as these interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen.
Once inside the chamber, the patient will begin to experience the change in pressure which is the same as that felt in an airplane when ascending or landing. Prior to the treatment, the patient is instructed in techniques of equalizing the ear/sinus pressure by yawning, swallowing, or attempting to blow through the nose while holding it shut. During the treatment the individual will be breathing 100% oxygen, dispersing oxygen into the blood plasma and delivering up to 15 times as much oxygen to tissues as would breathing room air. Normal treatment length is 60 – 90 minutes, depending the diagnosis and the physician’s determination of treatment. The acrylic walls allow for the trained technicians to closely monitor the patient, as well as providing comfortable viewing out of the chamber. From inside the chamber the patient can always communicate with the attending technician via intercom, watch TV or just take a nap.