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Advanced Wound Center at Community Westview Hospital

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)

An adjunctive therapy for chronic non-healing wounds

Hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy for wound treatmentHyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is one of several advanced treatment modalities offered by the Advanced Wound Center. In short, HBOT allows for an increase of ten times in plasma oxygen concentration, thereby accelerating the wound healing process. HBOT is used adjunctively with other procedures such as revascularization, or as a primary treatment when other options fail. HBOT accelerates the healing process.

Hyperbaric oxygenation

Breathing 100% oxygen under pressure causes the oxygen to diffuse into the blood plasma. This oxygen rich plasma is able to travel past the restriction, diffusing up to 3 times further into the tissue. The pressurized environment helps to reduce swelling and discomfort, while providing the body with at least ten times its normal supply of oxygen to help repair tissue damaged by to original occlusion or subsequent hypoxic condition.

The benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy

HBOT allows a patient to breathe 100% oxygen two to three times greater than atmospheric pressure and is administered on a daily basis. The result is an increase of 10 to 15 times in plasma oxygen concentration. This increase translates to arterial oxygen values between 1,500 and 2,000 mmHg, which produce a four-fold increase in the diffusing distance of oxygen from functioning capillaries. Additionally, by forcing more oxygen into the tissue, HBOT encourages the formation of new blood vessels. As these new blood vessels develop, the red blood cells start to flow, delivering even more oxygen to the affected area. This creates the optimal environment for the body’s natural healing processes to repair damaged tissue.

Approved hyperbaric oxygen therapy indications

CMS (Medicare) lists the following indications as approved coverage for HBOT, in order of decreasing utilization:

  • Diabetic wounds of the lower extremities (DWLE) 
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis 
  • Compromised flaps and grafts 
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis 
  • Osteoradionecrosis 
  • Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency 
  • Progressive necrotizing infections 
  • Crush injuries 
  • Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia 
  • Gas gangrene 
  • Acute carbon monoxide intoxication 
  • Decompression illness/sickness 
  • Gas embolism 
  • Cyanide poisoning 
  • Actinomycosis

Additional UHMS-approved indications:

  • Thermal burns 
  • Exceptional blood loss anemia
  • Intracranial abscess

The increase in oxygen through HBOT produces a number of physiological benefits:

  • Correction of tissue hypoxia 
  • Reduction of local edema 
  • Improvement of toxic effects of aerobic organisms 
  • Improved leukocyte killing ability 
  • Stimulation of fibroblast replication 
  • Support of collagen synthesis and angiogenesis 
  • Enhanced epithelial migration

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients relax in special chambers and therapy is monitored by expertly trained technicians that work in collaboration with onsite Advanced Wound Center physicians.

For more information on HBOT call the Advanced Wound Center at (317) 682-2032.

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