What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

HBOT uses oxygen as a medication by delivering 100% oxygen at a higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure - the equivalent of being 40-60 feet underwater.

How does HBOT work?

Your body requires oxygen to survive, and wounds need oxygen to heal. Treatments are done in a hyperbaric chamber. Patients breathe pure oxygen for about 90 minutes from a hood, which increases the amount of oxygen dissolved into their blood stream. HBOT helps build new blood vessels and nourishes tissues that are low in oxygen, so healing can begin.

Medical Conditions HBOT treats

There are currently 14 main conditions for HBOT accepted by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (HUMS). These are indications where scientific research has shown that HBOT improves patient outcomes.

  • Arterial gas embolism (bubbles of air in your blood vessels)
  • Brain abscess
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Chronic radiation tissue injury
  • Chronic osteomyelitis (infection of the bone)
  • Compromised skin flap or skin graft
  • Crushing injury of the extremities
  • Decompression sickness (the bends)
  • Selected non-healing wounds (i.e., diabetic foot ulcer)
  • Severe acute blood loss anemia
  • Severe "flesh-eating" infections (i.e., gas gangrene, necrotizing soft tissue)
  • Sudden deafness
  • Thermal burn
  • Vision loss, sudden and painless

(The indications in bold are conditions where HBOT is considered a primary treatment)

Your Support is Needed

Although the UHMS believes HBOT is helpful for the indications listed above, we still need more proof that HBOT works in order to convince insurance companies to provide the best care possible for patients in need of HBOT. Contributions to Legacy Emanuel’s programs and services will help us continue to implement innovative treatments for patients in need of HBOT.