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The Mayo Clinic on the Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

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The Mayo Clinic on the Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by Access Computer No Comments

Overview

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-chamber-west bloomfield-michigan

In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Why it’s done

Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions. And medical institutions use it in different ways. Your doctor may suggest hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Anemia, severe
  • Brain abscess
  • Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
  • Burn
  • Decompression sickness
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injury
  • Deafness, sudden
  • Gangrene
  • Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death
  • Nonhealing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
  • Radiation injury
  • Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
  • Vision loss, sudden and painless

The evidence is insufficient to support claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can effectively treat the following conditions:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Brain injury
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Cirrhosis
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Heart disease
  • Heatstroke
  • Hepatitis
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sports injury
  • Stroke

Risks

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally a safe procedure. Complications are rare. But this treatment does carry some risk.

Potential risks include:

  • Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by temporary eye lens changes
  • Middle ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, due to increased air pressure
  • Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes (barotrauma)
  • Seizures as a result of too much oxygen (oxygen toxicity) in your central nervous system
  • In certain circumstances, fire — due to the oxygen-rich environment of the treatment chamber

How you prepare

Pure oxygen can cause fire if a spark or flame ignites a source of fuel. Because of this, you can’t take items such as lighters or battery-powered devices into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber. In addition, to limit sources of excess fuel, you may need to remove hair and skincare products that are petroleum-based and potentially a fire hazard. Ask a member of your health care team for specific instructions before your first hyperbaric oxygen therapy session.

What you can expect

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure and doesn’t require hospitalization. If you’re already hospitalized and require hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll remain in the hospital for therapy. Or you’ll be transported to a hyperbaric oxygen facility that’s separate from the hospital.

Depending on the type of medical institution you go to and the reason for treatment, you may receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy in one of two settings:

  • A unit designed for 1 person. In an individual (monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic tube.
  • A room designed to accommodate several people. In a multiperson hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a large hospital room — you may sit or lie down. You may receive oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the air pressure in the room is about two to three times normal air pressure. The increased air pressure will create a temporary feeling of fullness in your ears — similar to what you might feel in an airplane or at a high elevation. You can relieve that feeling by yawning or swallowing.

For most conditions, therapy lasts approximately two hours. Members of your health care team will monitor you and the therapy unit throughout your treatment.

After hyperbaric oxygen therapy

You may feel somewhat tired or hungry following your treatment. This doesn’t limit normal activities.

Results

To benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll likely need more than one session. The number of sessions depends on your medical condition. Some conditions, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, might be treated in three visits. Others, such as nonhealing wounds, may require 20 to 40 treatments.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy alone can often effectively treat decompression sickness, arterial gas embolism and severe carbon monoxide poisoning.

To effectively treat other conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and administered with other therapies and drugs that fit your individual needs.

 

Contact Encompass Healthcare today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bruce Ruben

Stasis Ulcer Information from Dr. Bruce Ruben

Posted on: October 7th, 2015 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

Overview of Venous Stasis Ulcers

A stasis ulcer is a breakdown of the skin (ulcer) caused by fluid build-up in the skin from poor vein function (venous insufficiency). Fluid leaks from the veins into skin tissue when the blood backs up rather than returning to the heart through the veins.

This wound is a result of venous insufficiency (venous stasis ulcer)--Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, Michigan.

This wound is a result of venous insufficiency (venous stasis ulcer)–Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, Michigan.

Who’s At Risk
Leg vein malfunction (venous insufficiency) affects 2–5% of Americans, and approximately half a million Americans have stasis ulcers. Women are more often affected by stasis ulcers than men.

Your risk for acquiring a stasis ulcer is greater if you:

  • Are overweight.
  • Have varicose veins.
  • Have had blood clots in your legs.
  • Had a leg injury (trauma) that might affect blood flow in your leg veins; even minor trauma may cause an ulcer.

Signs and Symptoms

Swelling of the leg, brown discoloration, or an itchy, red, rough area (stasis dermatitis) may appear before you notice an ulcer. This is often seen on the inner ankle area first, although any area on the lower leg may be affected. Varicose veins may be present. Sometimes there are hard, tender lumps under the skin near the ulcer.

The ulcer is a crater-like, irregular area of skin loss. It may be an open, easily bleeding, painful wound, or it might have a thick black scab. The level of pain varies.
Self-Care Guidelines
People with a leg ulcer should seek medical care if it is anything beyond a small scrape or cut on the surface of the skin.

If the ulcer appears minor:
Clean it with soap and water.
Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) and a clean gauze bandage.
Avoid putting any tape or adhesive on the skin.
Avoid using topical antibiotics and other over-the-counter products, as people with leg ulcers often become allergic to these products.

When to Seek Medical Care

If you have pain, swelling, spreading red areas, fever, or any open wound that does not heal after a few days of self-care, seek medical advice.

Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
In addition to a thorough exam, your physician may test to evaluate how well your veins are working.

Treatment may consist of:

  • Procedures to reduce leg swelling.
  • Medication for any dermatitis or infection that is present.
  • Special wound dressings.
  • Pentoxifylline to aid healing.
  • Surgery if other medical treatment fails.
  • Compression hose to prevent the ulcer from coming back.
  • Most ulcers heal within 1–4 months, but about 25% will still be present after a year.

Trusted Links
MedlinePlus: Leg Injuries and Disorders
MedlinePlus: Vascular Diseases

References

Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology, pp.1635. New York: Mosby, 2003.

Freedberg, Irwin M., ed. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 6th ed. pp.21. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

 

Source: SkinSight.com

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