HBOT Therapy Indications, Risks, and Side Effects – Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment performed to improve the body’s natural healing process by inhaling 100 percent oxygen in a room when atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. This therapy is used for a wide range of treatments from diseases as part of a medical treatment plan.
Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With hyperbaric oxygen therapy, oxygen is dissolved in all bodily fluids, plasma, central nervous system fluids, lymph, and bones. After that, oxygen can be carried to areas where circulation is reduced or clogged.
In this way, extra oxygen can reach all damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. Increased oxygen greatly improves the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling, and allows new blood vessels to grow faster in the affected area. This method is a simple, non-invasive, and painless treatment.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy indications
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be recommended in patients with conditions or diseases such as:
Decompression disease is a condition that occurs when blood flow in the body is inhibited, due to changes in air pressure. This pressure change can occur due to flight, diving, or anything else resulting in a drastic change in air pressure.
Sudden changes in air pressure outside the body can cause the onset of air bubbles inside blood vessels or embolism. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can shrink bubbles inside blood vessels due to pressure changes.
Carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when a person is in a group of carbon monoxide gases that cause impaired absorption of oxygen by the blood. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can overcome this condition by removing carbon monoxide from the blood by providing pure, high-pressure oxygen.
Healing wounds that are difficult to recover (hyperbaric oxygen therapy wound healing).
Under normal conditions, the wound can heal on its own. However, in certain conditions, wounds are difficult to heal and close again, such as chronic wounds in diabetics or decubitus ulcers.
These conditions reduce the supply of oxygen to the tissues around the wound, while the tissues that play a role in closing the wound often require a lot of oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help heal these wounds by providing oxygen with higher concentrations, so that the oxygen needs in the wound tissue can be met.
Slow Wound Healing Causes and Types
Skin graft recovery.
Skin grafts in patients who do not have circulatory disorders can blend well. However, if a patient receiving a skin graft suffers from circulatory disorders such as diabetes, the union of skin grafts with the patient’s skin may have problems.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help to unify skin grafts in patients with circulatory disorders, by maintaining an oxygen supply to areas that get skin grafts, so that recovery can take place properly.
Soft tissue infections that have necrosis (tissue death).
Soft tissue infections are generally caused by bacteria. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help cure soft tissue infections by accelerating the death of bacteria, especially anaerobic bacteria that live in low-oxygen conditions, through the oversupply of oxygen to infected tissues. Excess oxygen in the blood can also help tissues to regenerate and accelerate wound healing.
In addition to the above conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also used in the condition of crushed injuries as well as compartment syndrome, air embolism, radiation-induced organ injury, recurrent osteomyelitis, burns, anemia, blockage of eye blood vessels, and sudden deafness.
Discuss with your doctor about the benefits of using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the condition, as well as the risks that may arise.
HBOT Therapy Risks and Side Effects
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is actually a safe procedure. Complications from this action are also rare. Even so, HBOT therapy still has several risks and side effects, namely:
- Temporary visual impairment caused by changes in the lens of the eye.
- Injuries to the middle ear, including the risk of the eardrum rupturing due to increased air pressure.
- Pneumothorax caused by changes in air pressure.
- Seizures, due to too much oxygen in the central nervous system.
The pure oxygen in the HBOT therapy room is also flammable and explodes when exposed to sparks. Therefore, do not bring objects that could trigger the appearance of fire, such as matches or battery-powered electronic devices, into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy room.
Also, avoid using skin care products that contain oil, as they risk triggering a fire. Do not forget to ask the doctor and therapist for a complete explanation, before hyperbaric oxygen therapy begins.
To get the most out of it, you need to undergo several HBOT therapy sessions. The number of therapy sessions depends on the disease and the development of your condition. However, don’t forget to discuss with your doctor in advance about the treatment plan and the results you want to achieve.