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Indications for Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause long term health problems, which may include headaches, dizziness, nausea and neurologic problems. Carbon monoxide is directly toxic to the brain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also extremely beneficial in the treatment of smoke inhalation and cyanide poisoning. The oxygen therapy reverses the toxic effects of such chemicals by assisting oxygenation when the lungs are damaged. Specific indicators are used by the HBO physician to determine when HBO therapy is needed.

Gas Embolism Treatment

Gas embolism occurs when air enters the blood vessels. An embolism is commonly found in divers or occasionally associated with complications arising from a medical procedure. Depending on the location of the air bubble, the effects can be fatal.

Gas Gangrene

This uncommon wound infection is progressive and possibly fatal. Caused by bacteria, gas gangrene or Clostridial Myonecrosis produces bacterial toxins into tissues during an infection. This toxin is harmful to the tissue. HBO stops toxin production and reduces bacterial growth.

Decompression Sickness Treatment

This sickness is usually found in divers and is also known as the bends. When a diver reaches the surface, nitrogen bubbles may accumulate in the diver's tissues causing joint pain, paralysis and even death.

Wound Healing

Most patients are capable of normal wound healing. Certain diseases such as diabetes, blood vessel narrowing or radiation tissue injury, can be affected by HBO, which facilitates wound healing by increasing microblood vessels, enhancing the wound healing mechanism and facilitating high tissue levels of oxygen.

Page updated 2/9/09