HBO is used to treat some medical conditions, most frequently crush injuries, osteomyelitis (bone infection), skin grafts and flaps, brown recluse spider bites, and some diabetic wounds of the lower extremity. The treatment takes place in a chamber that you can see out of. You lay on a stretcher inside the chamber. You can watch TV. You can watch a movie. The chamber is pressurized. You breathe one hundred percent oxygen. Your blood carries the extra oxygen. It is taken to your injured area.
If you have a wound that hasn’t healed in four weeks, ask your doctor. He will evaluate your wound. He will decide if hyperbaric wound care is for you.
To protect the privacy of our patients, family members may not remain with you during your treatment. A waiting room is provided for their comfort. A trained staff member is always in the room during treatment. You can communicate with them at any time
We put safety first. We will provide you with clothing to wear during your treatment. Please do not wear any of the following items when you come to the center for HBO therapy:
Let the staff know if you feel ill. Let the staff know if you are congested.
Treatment is different for each patient. It depends on the patient’s condition and response to therapy. Most patients receive between 30 and 40 treatments.
Treatment will last about 2 hours. You will receive one treatment a day, Monday through Friday. Your doctor will tell you if you need more than one treatment a day.
The HBO technician will take your vital signs and listen to your lungs. The inside of your ears will be examined. You will be asked about your pain. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar will be checked. Safety checks will be done before each treatment.
HBO is not painful. At the beginning of your hyperbaric wound care treatment you may feel pressure in your ears. Like when you fly in a plane or drive up into the mountains. You may have to clear your ears. The HBO staff will instruct you on methods for clearing your ears:
Tell your doctor if you have:
Your doctor will discuss blood sugar control with you. The HBO technician will check your blood sugar before and after treatment. Take your medicine as prescribed. Eat before HBO.
When you are in the chamber you can see out in all directions. If you are anxious, the doctor can prescribe medicine to help you relax.
Medicare has approved coverage for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for wound healing including many types of chronic nonhealing wounds. Most private insurance companies follow medicare rules. We will review your insurance plan with you before your therapy starts to make sure you know what your costs will be.
Kindwall, E. P. & Whelan, H. T. (2004) Hyperbaric medicine practice. (2nd ed.) Flagstaff: Best Publishing.
Novell, H., & Larson-Lohr, V. (2002). Hyperbaric nursing. Flagstaff: Best Publishing
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