Hyperbaric Medicine

Two hyperbaric chambers

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the utilization of a special chamber to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.  The pressure in the chamber is increased while the patient breathes 100% oxygen.   At Heritage Valley WoundCare, HBOT offers advanced treatment for a variety of conditions. 

What is the Hyperbaric Chamber

A hyperbaric chamber is a large, clear acrylic tube-shaped compartment with aluminum end-caps.  It is designed to withstand an increase in internal pressure as it is filled with 100% oxygen.  The chamber is large enough for the patient to rest comfortably and the tube is clear allowing the patient to not feel confined while allowing the staff to monitor the patient closely.  The patient and staff can easily communicate via an intercom system.

How does it work?

The air we breathe is a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and other gases.  Typically, our bodies are able to heal themselves with a normal oxygen level, but under certain conditions extra oxygen is required to promote the healing process.  During HBOT, the patient’s entire body is exposed to 100% oxygen at greater than normal atmospheric pressures.  Breathing pure oxygen under pressure causes much more oxygen to be dissolved in the blood and subsequently, delivered to the rest of the body.  Oxygen can promote healing by reducing swelling, keeping infection under control and stimulating new blood vessel and new skin growth. 

What conditions can be treated with HBOT at Heritage Valley WoundCare?

  • Diabetic Foot Ulcers Wagner Grade 3 or higher
  • Radiation induced wounds of the skin
  • Radiation induced injury to the jaw bone
  • Chronic bone infections that are not healing by usual therapy
  • Failing skin graft and/or flaps
  • Arterial ulcers