Our physicians and staff are committed to providing you as much information as possible so that you feel comfortable and confident making decisions about your health care choices. We strive to provide a comfortable, patient focused practice with a sole focus of rapid healing. If you do not find the information you need in the tabs below, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Treatment protocols are established by the hyperbaric physician. Oxygen, when breathed under 2-3 times the normal atmospheric pressure, converts into a potent medical grade drug. Besides the beneficial effects that have been discussed, hyperbaric oxygen can also produce noticeable toxic effects if administered indiscriminately. Safe, time/dose limits have been established for hyperbaric oxygen exposure and these limitations form the basis for today’s treatment protocols.
With the exception of decompression sickness and cerebral arterial gas embolism, treatments last approximately two hours. Treatments are given 5 days per week, unless otherwise indicated. The total number of treatments ordered depends on the diagnosis and the severity of each individual case. For some acute cases, treatment times are approximately ten days, while more chronic cases may require thirty or more treatments.
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WOUND CARE MANAGEMENT
An integral part of total wound care management may include debridement, dressing changes, and/or the use of bioengineered skin substitutes, when indicated. The attending physician may at the time of referral request these services.
BENEFITS OF HYPERBARIC THERAPY
There are several benefits associated with intermittent exposure to hyperbaric doses of oxygen. Oxygen partial pressures in the blood can be elevated to 2000 mmHg at the tissue level. Either alone, or more commonly combination with other medical and surgical procedures, these mechanisms serve to enhance the healing process of treatable conditions. This treatment will cause the following:
An increase in the distance which oxygen diffuses from functional capillaries into hypo perfused wounds. Initially this provides oxygen to hypoxic tissues; later this results in angiogenesis, which enables healing in bone and skin grafts, compromised grafts, selected problem wounds, and radiation induced injuries.
Rapidly dissociates carbon monoxide molecules from hemoglobin and dramatically increases amounts of physically dissolved oxygen in the blood for delivery to the tissues. Inhibition of microbial growth, deactivation of bacterial toxins and enhanced white blood cell function in necrotizing infections, osteomyelitis and soft tissue infections that have not responded to conventional therapies.
Early utilization of hyperbaric oxygen reduces the reperfusion injury that is the cause of much of the damage that is associated with abrupt reduction in blood flow to tissues, most importantly in compromised flaps and grafts.
Vasoconstriction and a subsequent decrease in tissue edema resulting from crush injury and compartment syndrome. At the same time, the high oxygen content of the blood overcomes the effects of hypoxia and peripheral ischemia.
Recent research has demonstrated that hyperbaric oxygen mobilizes stem cells, which then target injured areas. This is an exciting new finding that may have long term implications in wound healing.