How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy work?

During the therapy the patient breathes pure oxygen for a short time while the patient rests in a special pressurized chamber. Pressurized to below sea level, the chamber allows greater amounts of oxygen to dissolve in the bloodstream and be carried to body tissue to improve healing. There is normally no pain or discomfort and patients can relax, listen to music, watch TV or sleep while they receive this therapy.

Who can benefit from this oxygen therapy?

People who have:

  • Diabetic Wounds
  • Pressure Ulcers
  • Burns
  • Gas Gangrene
  • Crush Injuries
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Radiation Necrosis
  • and Others 

The therapy has uses in many different illnesses for some disorders, it is also frequently used in combination with antibiotics and/or surgery.

Is oxygen therapy covered by insurance?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is covered by Medicare and most commercial insurance as a treatment for specific conditions, but patients referred to the service are pre-certified.

Do I need a physician Referral for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Yes. The specialists who work with St. Rita’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy will work closely with your physician to see you have the best possible outcome.

How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments needed depends on your condition. It can be as few as one or two or significantly more. It is very important that you complete all your prescribed course of treatment. Some people begin to heal very quickly and decide to stop treatments, which can result in the wound not healing completely and causing problems in the future.

What do I need to do before having treatments?

Your hyperbaric therapy team will discuss what you need to do in detail. The following summarizes preparations.

Smoking and Caffeine You should not use tobacco and caffeine products during your course of treatment. They constrict blood vessels and limit the amount of blood that can be delivered to your tissue.

Medications It is very important that you give the treatment team a complete list of medications you take including non-prescription drugs. The medications you take can change how your body reacts to oxygen.

Illness If you have symptoms of a cold or flu such as fever, cough, sore throat, nausea vomiting, diarrhea or general body aches and pains, you should notify your treatment team as soon as possible. Illness may take it necessary to delay treatment until your symptoms go away.

Do you have a wound that does not heal?

If you have a wound that does not improve within two weeks or has not healed in a month, yo should ask your doctor if Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy might work for you. Some wounds need special care to heal, due to the type of wound, or other health conditions. St. Rita’s has a comprehensive wound care program that includes special oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a very effective way to help the body heal wounds and fight infection.