Therapy using Hyperbaric Oxygen

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When tissues don't have the oxygen they need to mend, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is utilized to speed up the healing process. "Baric" denotes pressure, while "hyper" indicates "increased."

The hyperbaric chamber is the space that patients enter. Hoods are fitted for patients in the chamber. The pressurized chamber facilitates 100% oxygen breathing for patients thanks to the hoods.

The amount of oxygen in the blood is significantly increased when breathing 100% oxygen within the pressure chamber. By promoting angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, this increased oxygen can hasten the healing of wounds and damaged tissues and aid in the removal of some challenging infections.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is frequently used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, osteomyelitis (recalcitrant bone infections), surgical wounds that are not healing, and radiation therapy-damaged tissues (radiation cystitis, osteoradionecrosis, and others). The whole list of additional unusual indications that may be taken into consideration for therapy may be seen here (link is external).

The hyperbaric chamber at U-M Health is referred to as a "multiplace chamber." This implies that more than one person may be present in the chamber at once. To ensure that patients don't feel alone or claustrophobic, we employ a multiplace chamber. The atmosphere is welcoming and even social. Large, cozy leather chairs are used to seat the patients. Ten patients can have treatments in our chamber at a time. As a result of social distance regulations, we can only now accommodate five patients at once.

Patients are fitted with specialty hoods by an attendant so they can get oxygen via them. Patients are allowed to read, watch TV, and move around in the chamber. It is acceptable to get up and move around. There is always a caregiver on hand to keep an eye on and tend to any patient needs.

For each treatment, patients spend roughly two hours in the chamber. After wearing their hood for thirty minutes, they take ten minutes off of it. For each treatment, we go through this cycle three times. In order to maximize patient safety during the implementation of pandemic limitations, hood usage protocols may differ slightly.

As the chamber becomes compressed, patients will hear a hissing sound (descent). For the first several minutes, they could feel heated. Patients may experience pressure or squeezing in their teeth, sinuses, or ears, similar to what happens in an airline cabin. Yawning, gulping down a sip of water, or chewing gum (gumm and water are supplied) can all help reduce pressure in the ears. If a patient feels discomfort in their ears or elsewhere else, they should inform the attendant.

Patients will feel chilly when the pressure is released (acscent) at the conclusion of the procedure. Ear problems are far less common during ascent; patients can just unwind and breathe normally.

The pressure variations may cause issues with the ears for some patients. If you have ear pain during or in between treatments, you should let the attendant know. Certain patients may also have alterations in their vision, which could be brought on by cataracts or changes in the focus distance. Similar to ear issues, people who observe a worsening of their vision during their treatment cycle should tell an attendant or another medical expert.

Rarely, the elevated oxygen levels during treatment can trigger convulsions in certain patients. With all of the safety measures we have included in our treatment programs, this is extremely unusual. Our attendants keep a close eye on our chamber so they can quickly detect and respond to any serious medical situations.

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