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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a simple, noninvasive and painless way of delivering high doses of oxygen to the body, helping heal conditions that have been resistant to other forms of treatment.

Using the same technology scuba divers use to treat "The Bends", the hyperbaric chamber allows patients to breathe 100% oxygen while the chamber pressure is lowered to that found at 33 feet below sea level. The pressure inside the chamber causes the oxygen to dissolve into the patient's blood and diffuse into the body's tissues and fluids. Benefits include:

  • Stimulates growth of new blood vessels
  • Reduces edema (swelling)
  • Increases oxygen delivery to tissues
  • Effective in fighting certain infections

What will I feel while inside the chamber?

Once you are oriented and your vitals are taken, the hyperbaric technician will position you on the gurney and place you inside the chamber. The pressure will then be gradually increased, and you may feel fullness inside your ears. The technician will instruct you about how to clear any discomfort during this 10-15 minute phase. Once the chamber reaches the desired treatment pressure, you may watch movies or relax and take a nap.

When your treatment ends, the pressure inside the chamber will be gradually decreased to normal atmospheric pressure. During this time, the chamber may get a little cooler than normal. You may feel fullness in your ears again from the reduction of pressure in the chamber - this is similar to what you feel when you are driving over the mountains or flying. The technician will ensure that you are comfortable at all times by providing you with instructions during the entire treatment. Treatments include:

  • Osteomyelitis
  • Diabetic wound of the lower extremity
  • Radiation tissue or bone damage
  • Compromised skin grafts or flaps
  • Problem wounds
  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • Crush injuries
  • Gas gangrene

Possible side effects

Although rare, side effects may include vision changes, ear pain from pressure, and oxygen toxicity. Your physician and hyperbaric technician will explain these prior to therapy.

For safety reasons, we must ensure that these items DO NOT enter the chamber with you during Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:

  • Aftershave
  • Alcohol products
  • Batteries
  • Coins or money
  • Electronics
  • Food
  • Hairpieces
  • Hairspray or gel
  • Hearing aids
  • Heat warmers
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Lighters
  • Lotion or oil
  • Makeup
    • Matches
    • Metal Objects
    • Mobile phones
    • Nail polish
    • Newspapers
    • Pagers
    • Perfume
    • Stockings
    • Wigs
    • Titanium framed glasses & contacts
    • Garments less than 100% cotton
    • Static-producing clothing or materials
    • Anything containing dirt, oil, grease or alcohol

     

     

    ©  2014 

    Saint Agnes Medical Center | 1303 E. Herndon Ave. Fresno, CA 93720 | 559-450-3000