Oxygen Under Pressure: 10 Uses of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

10 Uses of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Life requires oxygen to survive. 100% oxygen is given to the body at high pressures through a type of therapy known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT. Continue reading to find out what are the uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

How Does Oxygen Therapy Work?

100% saturated supplementary oxygen is given at greater atmospheric pressures during hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Patients are positioned in an HBOT chamber, which is a whole-body chamber at high pressure. This improves the body’s ability to provide oxygen to every tissue.

Numerous illnesses, including burns, diabetic wounds, acute ischemia, and air or gas embolisms, are approved for treatment using hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Allowed Applications of HBOT

  • Decompression Disease

A serious condition known as arterial gas embolism and decompression sickness can arise from scuba diving with a compressed air supply.

Nitrogen bubbles that accumulate in tissues and blood of scuba divers who surface too soon are the cause of decompression sickness.

Emboli in the arterial gas occur subsequent to decompression sickness. The pulmonary vein (which supplies blood to the lungs) is blocked by gas bubbles that flow through the bloodstream and tissues.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the recommended treatment for decompression sickness, according to the US Navy 6 treatment manual.

When applied within 24 hours of surfacing, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is most effective in treating decompression disease.

A single session of emergency hyperbaric oxygen therapy was used in a clinical case report to remove the gas and air bubbles from the patient’s joints, hip, lower spine, brain sinuses, and blood vessels.

  • Embolism in Air

When air bubbles are introduced into the bloodstream, they obstruct arteries and produce air embolism.

A rare but possibly deadly side effect of surgery is air embolism, which can seriously harm the heart, brain, and lungs.

The location of the air bubble determines the clinical symptoms of an embolism. For survival, treatment must begin early.

After seven sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a patient who had suffered an air embolism during open heart surgery recovered completely, according to a clinical case report

  • Toxicology from Carbon Monoxide

Oxygen in the blood can be replaced by carbon monoxide. This lowers the quantity of oxygen that reaches the tissues.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy prolongs patient life and lowers the death rate in a population-based trial involving 7,287 carbon monoxide poisoning victims. Patients with acute lung failure and younger patients (less than 20) responded better to therapy.

  • Skin Ulcers

Eighty percent of the 35 patients with treatment-resistant skin ulcers (vasculitis) recovered better after four weeks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Similarly, four weeks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy resulted in full recovery in a patient with treatment-resistant skin ulcers.

  • Low Blood Sugar

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is beneficial for severe anemia when used early. Patients who cannot take blood transfusions due to immunological issues, religious beliefs, or issues with blood availability benefit from it.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for ten sessions was reported to alleviate symptoms in a hemorrhaging patient.

  • Recovery from Radiotherapy

When radiation treatment is used a lot on cancer cells, it hurts the healthy tissues around the tumours.

According to an analysis of 14 trials including 753 people, hyperbaric oxygen therapy lessened radiation damage to the rectum, anus, head, and neck.

47 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduced tissue damage, discomfort, and oversensitivity in 57 breast cancer patients.

After receiving 101 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a woman with breast cancer who had developed a skin ulcer 25 years after therapy fully recovered.

Radiation cystitis is a side effect that arises from bladder inflammation (cystitis) in patients receiving pelvic radiotherapy for urological malignancies. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy relieved symptoms in 67% of the 12 radiation cystitis patients.

  • Adherence to Tissue Grafting

In a tissue graft, healthy tissue that has been donated is used to replace damaged tissue. Tissue graft failure led to tissue loss, more surgery, higher treatment expenses, and adverse psychosocial outcomes for the patients.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is successful in saving skin grafts because it increases the oxygen supply to the tissues, enhances fibroblast function, and starts the formation of new blood vessels, as demonstrated by case studies involving humans and a variety of animals.

  • Hypoxia

Ischemia is a general term for a group of illnesses caused by insufficient oxygen reaching a specific tissue. Heart attack (a shortage of oxygen reaching the heart) and stroke (a lack of oxygen reaching the brain) are the two most well-known ischemic conditions.

HBOT is authorized for the management of acute trauma ischemias, or trauma-related ischemias. It is used by some physicians to reduce reperfusion injury following a heart attack, and recent studies indicate that it may also be beneficial in the case of stroke.

40 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy dramatically reduced brain and nerve damage in 73 post-stroke patients.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy resulted in a full recovery in 10 out of 12 stroke patients who had undergone cardiac surgery.

Infections of Tissues

Soft tissue can be destroyed by bacterial infections (necrosis), which can be dangerous if neglected.

Supplemental hyperbaric oxygen therapy prevented severe cases of soft tissue bacterial infections and improved survival, according to an analysis of 1,583 patient reports.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improved antibiotic efficacy, decreased edema, promoted tissue growth, stopped the synthesis of bacterial toxins, and provided infection protection in bacterial illnesses.

  • Loss of Vision

One major cause of blindness in elderly adults is obstruction of the eye’s blood vessels, specifically the central retinal artery and vein occlusion and the branch retinal artery occlusion.

Eight or nine sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy successfully improved sight in two elderly patients who had suffered acute blindness.

Certain genetic mutations can also obstruct the retinal vein and artery in young individuals.

In a teenager with branch retinal artery occlusion due to a mutation in the protein methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR gene), additional hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 20 days resulted in visual recovery.

Urgent hyperbaric oxygen therapy administered nine times in a row helped a patient whose factor V Leiden mutation-caused simultaneous central retinal artery and vein occlusions improve.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has the potential to decrease retinal edema in addition to augmenting the oxygen supply to the eye’s tissues.

  • Persistent Pain

For eight weeks, 60 patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, saw improvements in brain and nerve activity with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Three weeks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy decreased swelling, and discomfort, and improved lower limb motion in a patient with complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic muscle/bone condition.

In patients with persistent pain, hyperbaric oxygen therapy not only lessens discomfort but also lessens the need for medicines.

The most frequent explanation for the cellular death of bone tissue (osteonecrosis) is a disruption in the blood supply. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was found to both prevent bone loss and increase the creation of bone mass in many trials involving osteoblasts and osteoclasts.

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