Do you need to speed up the healing of a wound? Maybe you have an injury that hasn’t healed after many weeks. Well, it’s time to look into Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and its many benefits.
The first thing to know about hyperbaric wound care is that exposing your body to 100% oxygen while under pressure will help speed up the wound’s healing process. This is because the blood carries the extra oxygen to your injured area. And injuries need oxygen to heal.
If you’ve chosen to begin HBOT and you just aren’t sure what to expect inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, we can share the ins and outs of HBOT wound care with you.
Here are a few things you should know about hyperbaric chamber wound care.
Reasons to Have HBOT Wound Care
Some of the wounds that rapidly heal with hyperbaric wound care include radiation injuries, infections, burns, certain skin grafts and flaps, crush injuries, and diabetes-related wounds. One of the wound care specialists will determine how many sessions of HBOT you will need, but generally, most patients receive between 30 and 40.
Risks of Hyperbaric Wound Care
Side effects are relatively rare but may include light headedness, fatigue, pressure-related discomfort to ears or nose, nearsightedness that resolves within days, and low blood sugar.
What Should Healthcare Professionals Know?
It’s important to discuss your medical history with the healthcare professionals in charge of your treatment. For example, they need to know if you have an external battery-operated medical device, if you have ever had chemotherapy, or if you have diabetes. They should also know if you have any heart or lung conditions, trouble with your eyesight, or history of seizures. Your therapist will be able to check your blood sugar before and after treatment and even help prescribe medicine for you if you suffer from claustrophobia.
There are few things to consider when preparing for your session, and basically, you need to come as naturally as possible. That means no makeup, wigs or hairpieces, loose-fitting dentures, contact lenses, deodorants, skin lotions, perfume or aftershave, jewelry, hair spray, gum, and only nail polish applied more than 24 hours before your treatment.
What to expect during hyperbaric chamber wound care
Here’s what it will be like when entering the HBOT chamber:
- First, you will put on a 100% cotton medical gown and get onto a table that slides into the chamber. The chamber is a 7-foot-long clear plastic tube.
- Next, you will be asked to relax and breathe normally, and you can even watch TV or listen to music. Think of it as some doctor-appointed time out. You can talk to the therapist at any stage during the treatment.
- Finally, the chamber is sealed and then filled with pressurized oxygen. The pressure rises to 2.5 times the normal air pressure. You may feel this in your ears; they may pop or feel uncomfortable – this is very normal. If this is the case, your therapist will ask you to swallow, yawn, or open and close your mouth to help relieve the pressure in your ears.
- The session can last from 1 to 2 hours, and once you’ve finished treatment, the therapist will slowly depressurize the chamber. You may feel lightheaded or tired, but this will pass quite soon afterward.
How R3 Wound Care & Hyperbarics Can Help
The wound care specialists at R3’s hyperbaric wound care centers will work to assess each patient and then recommend the right treatment plan for them based on their condition. As a patient, you’ll receive HBOT in a private setting with the latest hyperbaric technology, where your treatment team will be monitoring you throughout the procedure. Each treatment session is easy, painless, and even relaxing.
Each of our eight clinic locations has state of the art equipment, skilled wound care specialists, and a comfortable atmosphere. At R3 Wound Care & Hyperbarics, our primary function is wound care treatment, and we are independent of any hospital. You don’t even need a referral from a doctor to make an appointment or receive treatment (unless you have an HMO plan).