Do I Need a Doctor Referral for HBOT Therapy?

Have you found that making an appointment with your general practitioner so that they can refer you to a specialist can be a waste of time and money? A recent article in the British Health Service Journal (HSJ) addresses this very topic, suggesting that self-referral has many benefits to patient care, waiting times, and capacity. That’s precisely how we feel at R3 Wound Care & Hyperbarics. And you will be glad to know that you don’t need a doctor referral to make an appointment or to receive hyperbaric wound care treatment from us.

The Referral Process

If your GP or specialist physician has referred you to us for hyperbaric wound care, we will be in close communication with them and keep them informed of your progress. We understand that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is often administered in addition to treatment overseen by other medical professionals. Because of this, our team will work with your physician in figuring out the best way forward with your treatment plan.

Our healthcare professionals will also consult with them should any issues arise, review your medical history, and run any necessary tests – from an ECG and X-rays to eye, hearing, and blood tests.

The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Wounds need oxygen to heal correctly, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves exposing the body to 100% oxygen at a greater than normal pressure. Hyperbaric chambers for wound healing are the best at speeding up the healing of surgical wounds. HBOT is used successfully as adjunctive therapy for both non-healing wounds (such as diabetic and vascular insufficiency ulcers) and infected wounds (such as necrotizing soft tissue infections and crush injuries) – amongst many others.

HBOT used via a hyperbaric chamber is one of the least invasive of all treatments for hypoxic damaged tissue management and the salvaging of limbs. But it doesn’t stop there; hyperbaric oxygen therapy can treat many other problems, including problem wounds and even life-threatening diseases.

During your session, oxygen is moved around the body in the blood, and breathing in pure oxygen under this increased pressure allows even more oxygen to be dissolved more quickly in the bloodstream. Why is this good? The extra oxygen is what speeds up the healing process.

Benefits include:

  • Normalizing oxygen levels in areas where it has been reduced
  • Encouraging new blood cells to grow and transport extra nutrients to the tissue
  • Increasing the ability of white blood cells to prevent infection by killing bacteria
  • Reducing pressure, swelling, and pain in the wounded area

The Side Effects of HBOT Treatment

The good news is that there are only a few mild and temporary hyperbaric oxygen side effects. If you notice any issues about the way you feel during your session, you just need to let your technician know.

Side effects include:

  • Barotrauma of the ear or lung, from the air pressure
  • Temporary change in vision
  • Temporary lightheadedness
  • Temporary fatigue
  • Temporary low blood sugar
  • Although it’s extremely rare, patients with underlying brain or lung disorders may experience oxygen toxicity seizures and pressure injury to the lungs

If any of these HBOT therapy side effects don’t go away or seem to worsen, it’s time to see your doctor.

Looking for Quality Care?

If you’ve experienced a wound or infection that isn’t healing sufficiently on its own, our hyperbaric wound care treatment options can safely accelerate and enhance your healing process.

R3 Wound Care and Hyperbarics offer treatment options for infections ranging from active debridements, skin grafts, and incision and drainage to Transcutaneous Oximetry, Unna Boots, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. No doctor referrals needed!

Visit one of our hyperbaric centers and experience skilled personnel and warm, welcoming treatment centers. The R3 team is here to address your unique medical needs. If you’d like to give HBOT therapy a try, give us a call at 817-337-6604, fill out our online form, or find out more on our website.

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To find out if Wound Care is right for you, schedule an evaluation with one of our top medical professionals.

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