What to Expect, FAQs
What is required to be considered for HBOT treatment?
All potential HBOT patients are required to have a full medical evaluation before commencing treatment. Each is assessed by our Medical Director to ensure that it is safe to expose him/her to oxygen under pressure. The patient is not required to provide a referral from a physician. The Center’s Medical Director is a hyperbaric physician who conducts the medical review and writes the orders for the hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment plan.
- The medical evaluation includes:
- Medical health history.
- Brief physical which includes taking the patient’s vitals, checking the lungs, and checking the ears for the ability to equalize under pressure.
- Depending upon the patient’s condition and state of health, the Medical Director may require the patient to have a chest X-ray, pulmonary function test, and/or eye examination before proceeding with treatment.
What can a patient expect during treatment?
The treatment will be provided in either a monoplace or multiplace chamber.
In the monoplace chamber, the patient lays down in a transparent, atmosphere-controlled chamber that circulates 100% oxygen at a pressure that is two to three times greater than normal. During treatment the patient may relax by listening to music, watching TV or streaming channels, chatting with our staff, or taking a nap.
The multiplace chamber treats multiple patients simultaneously. The chamber will be pressurized to 2-3 times normal atmospheric pressure, and each patient will wear either a mask or a specially fitted hood through which they will breathe 100% oxygen. An inside observer (EMT or CMA) monitors patients and assists with donning the breathing mask/hood. The patient is free to move during treatment and may relax by listening to music, reading a book, watching TV or streaming channels, adult coloring, chatting with our staff, or taking a nap.
Both types of chambers are equally effective. In either type of chamber, the patient will not experience any pain, though it may feel like ears are plugged due to the increase in pressure—the same feeling one might get while flying or swimming. This feeling is typically temporary during the ascent and descent of the treatment. Our Hyperbaric Technicians assist the patient with different options to clear the ears, including the Valsalva maneuver, swallowing and/or drinking water.
The Medical Director and Certified Hyperbaric Technician will assist in determining which chamber is best for the patient.
Is special clothing required to be worn during treatment?
The patient will be provided comfortable, cotton garments to wear during treatment. Personal items may be stored in a locker provided, although it is recommended that valuables be left at home.
Are there restrictions on items in the chamber?
Safety is our number one priority. We have serious and strict guidelines as to what is allowed into the chamber.
The following is allowed inside the hyperbaric chamber:
- The patient — free of hair products, make-up, perfume/cologne, hearing aid, jewelry, cell phone or any potentially combustible item that is on the list of prohibited items which will be provided.
- Undergarments; Patients are to wear 100% cotton undergarments. Lycra or spandex brassiers or undergarments should not be worn.
- Scrub top and bottom which we provide.
- Water bottle provided by the chamber technician.
- Eye glasses – all types of frames except titanium.
Is HBOT safe?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally very safe, yet as with all medical treatments, it carries risks of complications that in rare instances could create further medical issues or disabilities. Some potential issues that have been noted include temporary visual refractive changes, barotrauma of the ear due to increased pressure, and hypoglycemia. Confinement anxiety in the chamber could be of concern to some patients
For these reasons the therapy should be provided only by well-qualified and trained personnel under direct supervision by a board-certified physician.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat non-healing wounds and a range of other medical conditions.