For most people, minor cuts or scratches heal quickly. Others have compromised immune systems that turn minor wounds into major medical situations requiring complex care. The physicians and staff in our Wound Management & Hyperbaric Medicine Department are able to offer hope to patients with non-healing wounds that they may have been dealing with for years.

The department is equipped with two state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen chambers (pictured above) that provide additional healing capabilities. Not everyone qualifies for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but those that receive the treatments are able to achieve high heal rates due to the higher concentrations of oxygen traveling in their blood to the non-healing wound beds.

The department is an outpatient, hospital-based program that specializes in the treatment of non-healing wounds and works in conjunction with the patient’s primary care doctor.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps the body’s natural ability to heal by delivering a high concentration of oxygen to stubborn wounds that won’t respond to more conventional wound care therapies.

Types of Wounds Treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

  • Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
  • Osteoradionecrosis
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis
  • Diabetic ulcers of the lower extremities
  • Compromised skin grafts (preparation and preservation)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

HBOT requires the patient to breath 100 percent oxygen in an enclosed chamber pressurized to greater than two atmospheres.

How does HBOT help heal wounds?

HBOT delivers oxygen quickly and in high concentrations to wounds. The increased oxygen stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the injured area and can also help prevent certain types of infections. The result is that stubborn wounds typically heal better and faster.

Who can receive HBOT?

Patients must receive at least 30 days of conventional wound therapy treatment before they can try HBOT. They must also have enough blood flow to the wounded area to make HBOT viable. Most healthcare plans in the United States reimburse HBOT treatments for the conditions listed above.

How often is HBOT administered?

Most treatments will be given during two-hour sessions, several times a week. Some conditions require a treatment period of 10 days or less. Chronic conditions may require a treatment period of several weeks. On average, patients receive 25 to 30 treatments over five to six weeks.

What does a patient experience during treatment?

Pressure inside the oxygen chamber is gradually increased. The temperature will also rise but can later be adjusted to a comfortable level. The patient’s ears will feel “full.” The patient will be instructed on how to clear the pressure and relieve any temporary discomfort. Inside the chamber, the patient can watch TV or movies, listen to music or relax. The patient takes short “air breaks” through a breathing mask about every 30 minutes. The patient can speak with the HBOT technician through a speaker in the chamber.

Will insurance cover HBOT?

Almost all healthcare plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, reimburse for HBOT treatments on accepted disorders.

HBOT informational sheet for providers

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services