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Studies show that hyperbaric oxygen can accelerate burn wound healing by increasing oxygen supply to injured areas and reduce swelling, which is helpful in maintaining healthy blood flow.
Patients are constantly monitored while receiving hyperbaric therapy. The chambers are made of Plexiglas, which allows for visual and verbal surveillance and verbal communication with patients during treatment. This feature also makes it possible for patients to watch videos or television during treatments.
The following conditions are approved uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as defined by the Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine Society:
- Air or Gas Embolism
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Complicated by Cyanide Poisoning
- Clostridal Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
- Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome, and other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
- Decompression Sickness
- Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds
- Exceptional Blood Loss (Anemia)
- Intracranial Abscess
- Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
- Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
- Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)
- Skin Grafts & Flaps (Compromised)
- Thermal Burns
The hyperbaric technicians are licensed by the state of California as Respiratory Care Practitioners and specialize in Hyperbaric Medicine.
Q) Do all patients at the Grossman Burn Center undergo hyperbaric treatment?
A) All patients are evaluated by the burn surgeons and hyperbaric physicians as to the need for hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Q) Does it hurt?
A) Some patients may experience pressure in the ears similar to diving under water. Hyperbaric staff teaches patients auto-inflationary techniques to clear the ears during treatment. The problem is temporary and resolves when treatment is completed.
Q) What if the patient is claustrophobic?
A) Some patients will not undergo hyperbaric treatment if it proves stressful or uncomfortable. Hyperbaric staff will work with a patient to see if he or she can tolerate the treatment.