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Hyperbaric Oxygen

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is approved by the FDA and Medicare for a range of problems, including diabetic foot ulcers and bone infections. Our specialists will determine if you need Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and they will give you the treatment you need to heal.

Center for Advanced Hyperbarics

The healing power of oxygen is well documented, but the air we breathe only contains 20% oxygen.  Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) increases the oxygen supply in the bloodstream by delivering 100% oxygen under pressure.  The increased pressure allows for more oxygen to be delivered to damaged tissues than under ordinary pressure.  As the patient comfortably reclines inside the clear hyperbaric chamber, oxygen in the blood increases through the simple act of breathing-it couldn’t be easier!  The increased amount of oxygen has many benefits that include:

  • Encouraging the production of white blood cells that help fight disease and speed healing
  • Reducing excessive swelling, which improves the health of cells needed for the healing process 
  • Killing many bacteria, especially those involved in serious bone infections (osteomyelitis)
  • Stimulating the formation of new blood vessels
  • Decreasing scarring while speeding healing of disfiguring burns, skin grafts, spider bites and cancer-related radiation problems
  • Improving recovery from diabetic foot ulcers.  

While hyperbaric treatment is a valuable method for healing many types of wounds and injuries, it requires a daily commitment for many weeks and is not needed in every case.  Allow our specialists to evaluate your condition and prescribe an effective, individualized plan to help you heal. Make your appointment with Southeast Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine today.

Indications for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a Medicare (CMS) approved treatment for the following diagnoses. Many insurance providers use the Medicare criteria for coverage determination, however some companies approve HBOT for additional diagnoses.

Listed below you will find those diagnosis for which Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy are considered the Primary Treatments. This means providing HBOT for these diagnosis would be among the doctors first choices for treatments.

Diagnosis listed as Adjunctive Treatments are conditions that would benefit by having Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy added to any standard care received. 
 
Primary Treatments
DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS

“The Bends.” or DCS, is a condition caused by pressure changing too quickly which can cause gas bubbles to form in the blood and tissues.

Definition- formation of bubbles in the tissues or blood.
Etiology- reduction of environmental pressure.
HBO- shrinks bubbles by increasing the pressure gradient of inert gasses.
Usually requires about 10 hyperbaric treatments.

AIR or GAS EMBOLISM

Air or gas bubbles in the blood vessels caused by accidental air injection from dialysis, catheter placement, endoscopy, or various surgical procedures.

Definition- air or gas bubbles in the arterial or venous blood vessels.
Etiology- pulmonary barotrauma, accidental air injection in bloodstream.
HBO- shrinks bubbles by increasing the pressure gradient of inert gasses, increases perfusion of Oxygen into tissues.
Usually about 10 hyperbaric treatments.

CARBON MONOXIDE or CYANIDE POISONING
Increased carbon monoxide or cyanide in bloodstream caused by exposure from fire, propane, heaters, or exhausts.

Definition- increased Carbon Monoxide or Cyanide in blood.
Etiology-exposure to Carbon Monoxide from fire, propane heaters, or exhausts.
HBO- increases the amount of oxygen available to the tissue and reduces any swelling of the brain by increasing perfusion of Oxygen into tissues causes vasoconstriction which reduces cerebral edema.
Usually 5 or less hyperbaric treatments.

EXCEPTIONAL BLOODLOSS ANEMIA

Severe decrease in the oxygen-transporting component of red blood cells, and symptoms of anemia which could be caused by hemorrhage, aplasia, or hemolysis.

Definition- Hemoglobin less than 6g/dl with signs and symptoms of anemia.
Etiology- Loss of red blood cells by hemorrhage, hemolysis, or aplasia.
HBO- provides a large amount of oxygen which can more easily spread thru the body by causing hyper oxygenation, increases diffusion of Oxygen into tissues.
Treat as long as needed.

ADJUNCTIVE TREATMENTS

CLOSTRIDIAL MYOSITIS and MYONECROSIS
“Gas Gangrene”

An infection that can spread very quickly, while destroying healthy tissue along the way. This infection can be caused from bowel contamination, or by an outside source.

Definition- Infection of muscle tissue
Etiology- caused by infection by contamination, such as bowel, or from an outside source.
HBO- helps stop the infection while allowing the white blood cells to do their job by stoping toxin production, improves WBC function
Usually 5-10 hyperbaric treatments, antibiotics, surgical debridement.

CRUSH INJURY or COMPARTMENT SYNDROME

An accident or injury that crushes a part of the body interrupting the blood flow to that part of the body

Definition- injury to body that has caused blood flow to be interrupted.
Etiology- Trauma, arterial rupture, compression, edema.
HBO- helps your body heal the injuries by increasing the amount of oxygen in you blood and decreasing the swelling by increasing perfusion of oxygen to tissues reduces edema, decreases perfusion injury.
Surgery if needed first. Then approximately 15 dives.

ENHANCEMENT of HEALING in SELECTED PROBLEM WOUNDS

A wound or ulcer that isn’t healing due to inadequate oxygen delivery. This can be caused by lack of blood flow due to many factors. This isn’t a life threatening condition.

Definition- a wound or ulcer that isn’t healing due to inadequate oxygen delivery.
Etiology- many factors for lack of blood flow. Not life threatening.
HBO-increases the amount of oxygen that gets to your tissue, helps new blood vessels form and allows you white blood cells to do their job by increasing perfusion of oxygen to tissues, angiogenesis (new cell formation), improves WBC function.
Anywhere from 20-40 treatments.

INTRACRAINAL ABCESS/ACTINOMYCOSIS

An abscess in the brain that can occur from complications of a sinus infection or bone infection of the skull. The abscess will need to be drained by surgery and HBO will help to stop the infection.

Definition- Intracranial: cerebral abscess is pus in brain. Subdural empyema is a collection of pus between brain and tissues covering it. Actinomycosis is an infection caused by a bacteria found on gums, teeth, and tonsils.
Etiology- Intracranial: caused by infection of sinus, of bone infection of the skull. Usually more than one site. Actinomycosis is usually an infection of the face and neck. Disease happens due to trauma, surgery of face, or infection. Common causes are dental abscess or oral surgery.
HBO- helps stop the infection, control swelling and allows the white blood cells to do their job by increasing oxygen to tissues, improves WBC function
Antibiotics, abscess drainage, and approximately 20 treatments.

NECRTOIZING SOFT TISSUE INFECTION
“Necrotizing Fasciitis”

An infection that occurs after surgery or trauma, especially when foreign bodies are introduced. It is a rapidly enhancing bacterial infection that frequently affects the groin area.

Definition- an acute infection of skin and subcutaneous tissues by bacteria.
Etiology- usually occurs after surgery or trauma, most often when foreign bodies are introduced. Example “Fournier’s Gangrene” of groin.
HBO- helps stop the infection, control swelling and helps new blood vessels form by improving WBC function, increases oxygen to tissues, vasoconstriction, and angiogenesis.
Surgery and antibiotics along with at least 30 treatments of HBO.

CHRONIC REFACTORY OSTEOMYELITIS

A bacterial infection involving bone, that fails to heal despite surgical debridement and antibiotic therapy. It can be caused by bacteria reaching the bone after an injury or infection.

Definition- long standing bone infection that hasn’t responded to debridement or antibiotics.
Etiology- history of exposed bone from surgery, fracture, or a disease process.
HBO- helps heal by increasing the amount of oxygen that gets to the tissue and allow the white bloods cells to do their job by increasing WBC function and oxygen to tissues.
Could require up to 60 treatments

DELAYED RADIATION INJURY
“Soft tissue and bony necrosis”

Tissue, skin, muscle, or bone damaged by radiation. This can occur months to years after exposure to radiation.

Definition- tissue, skin, muscle, or bone damaged by radiation.
Etiology- can occur to any area that has been irradiated, months to years after exposure.
HBO-increases the formation of new blood vessels and allows the white blood cells to do their job by increasing angiogenesis, increases WBC function.
Could require up to 60 treatments.

COMPROMISED SKIN GRAFTS and FLAPS

Grafts or flaps that show signs of tissue death after placement. The grafts will appear blue, gray, or pale from lack of oxygen.

Definition- grafts or flaps that show signs of tissue death after placement.
Etiology- surgical attempts to close an open wound.
HBO- improves the healing by increasing the oxygen available to the tissue and encouraging new blood vessel formation which minimizes tissue loss, and increases oxygen diffusion to compromised tissues.
Requires up to 20 treatments.