At Mayo Clinic, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is delivered in a 6,000-square-foot, rectangular chamber with up to three times the normal air pressure. While in the chamber, you receive 100 percent oxygen through a lightweight hood. You are assisted by a nurse. The chamber is equipped with natural lighting and an entertainment system to make your treatment relaxing.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments usually last about 90 minutes. The number of treatments you receive depends on your condition. Some people may require as few as two or three sessions for conditions like carbon monoxide poisoning or up to 40 sessions for nonhealing wounds.
Types of conditions treated
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used for three main circumstances:
- Lifesaving. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can save the lives of people with air or gas embolisms, decompression sickness or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Limb saving. It can be an effective treatment for nonhealing wounds of people at risk of losing a limb or who have had a crush injury.
- Tissue saving. It can help repair tissue damage caused by radiation therapy or other types of burns; improve and speed the healing of skin grafts or flaps; and treat infections such as gangrene that spread and destroy surrounding tissues.
Hyperbaric medicine is part of Mayo’s Aerospace Medicine program, which has a long history of research on low oxygen conditions in flight.
Oct. 27, 2011
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