11 Most Effective Benefits of Hyperbaric Chamber


The concept of hyperbaric chamber goes back to the year 1600 when a British clergyman invented a new technique to use the atmospheric pressure in order to treat the patients. In the initial stage, oxygen was not the choice to be supplied artificially through this process. During the 1930s, the military discovered that oxygen can saturate hemoglobin in blood that makes the healing of wounds faster. Several medical studies have revealed that there are some conditions in which hundred percent oxygen supply can act like a magic, which can be achieved when a patient breathes in the hyperbaric chamber under high atmospheric pressure.

What is a Hyperbaric chamber

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy requires a chamber where the entire body can be placed in a transparent, airtight environment having high atmospheric pressure. The patient will breathe 100 percent oxygen (obviously pure). The chamber must be large enough to be comfortable for the patient. When a patient is prescribed hyperbaric oxygen therapy, he/she is taken into a hyperbaric chamber. Before going inside a hyperbaric chamber, you need to remove makeups, hair oils or spray, ointment, vaseline, wigs, synthetic products, jewelry, and electronics. You are allowed in this chamber only with the cotton scrub clothing which will be provided by the clinic.

Hyperbaric chamber benefits:

There are countless benefits of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Even, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved 13 benefits of hyperbaric chambers. Here is a list of some medical conditions in which hyperbaric chamber benefits are quite significant:

1. Air/Gas embolism:

Air or gas embolism is caused by the presence of air in the arteries. Such a condition can happen by diving or by an invasive medical procedure which even can puncture a lung. Recompression is what a patient suffering from air/gas embolism needs. In such cases, a patient requires a pressure of 6 ATA in general.

2. Carbon monoxide poisoning:

Carbon monoxide poisoning can either be intentional or even accidental. It takes place when one inhales the colorless carbon monoxide gas which does not have any smell as well. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead one to death. The treatment of sickness depends on the theory that oxygen competitively can displace carbon monoxide from hemoglobin. When a patient is breathing in the normal room, the inhaling process can take almost 300 minutes. But, when a patient is wearing a 100 percent oxygen non-rebreather mask, then the time is found to be reduced to almost 90 minutes. And when the patient is in a hyperbaric chamber, the time is reduced to 32 minutes. It helps to restore cytochrome oxidase aa3/c and prevents lipid peroxidation. Even, you can take the help of HBOT to combat DNS or delayed neurologic sequelae.

3. Gas gangrene:

Gas gangrene is a kind of infection caused by the bacteria named Clostridium. This bacteria pollutes the wounds and lets the gas get trapped under the skin. In this way, it kills the body tissue. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to keep away the swelling and bacteria from spreading to the rest of the body.

4. Decompression sickness:

Decompression sickness indicates those symptoms which are caused by blockage of blood supply, damage from the mechanical consequences, biochemical actions from suspected bubbles. There are three types of DCS or decompression sickness. The first type includes musculoskeletal, and lymphatic tissue. The second type includes neurological systems, audiovestibular, cardiorespiratory and shock. The third type includes a syndrome that shows severe indications of DCS. Hyperbaric chambers diminish the size of the bubbles by using oxygen gradient. As per the law of Boyle, the volume of the bubble gets smaller as the pressure increases. While going through the HBOT treatment, the patient can breathe 100 percent oxygen and the process creates oxygen-rich blood having a low amount of nitrogen.

5. Exceptional blood loss:

Anemia is a kind of exceptional blood loss. In patients who suffer from exceptional anemia, significant oxygen carrying ability of the blood is lost. In such cases, the patients are instructed to get 100 percent pure oxygen by HBOT.

6. Intracranial abscess:

This intracranial abscess can be regarded as an accumulation of the infected materials. All of these brain abscesses can be found commonly in the patients with abnormal immune systems. HBOT can deal with such problems effectively. This therapy induces high oxygen tensions in the tissues that help to stop the growth of anaerobic bacteria.

7. Necrotizing soft tissue infection:

Necrotizing soft tissue infections are caused by surgical wounds, trauma or foreign bodies including muscular and subcutaneous injections polluted by certain street drugs. Hyperbaric therapy provides a number of mechanisms of action in order to control the infection reducing the tissue. The reduction of mortality and morbidity are immensely remarkable.

8. Osteomyelitis:

Osteomyelitis stands for bacterial infections that involve bone. These infections include Ischemia (insufficient blood supply), infection. Sometimes, these can take chronic forms. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can provide oxygenation that helps to fight osteomyelitis in three ways:

  • by strengthening the bone cells named osteoclasts which reabsorb the dead bones and allows these bones to remove bony debris more effectively

  • by enhancing the function of white blood cells of the immune system that depend on oxygen and HBOT becomes very effective when it is used with antibiotics because then, it can support the functions of the antibiotics

  • by helping the body to make new blood vessels named capillaries

As an outcome of these three processes, the human body becomes able to be free from the grip of the sick bones and it can replace the disordered ones with the healthy bones.

9. Radiation injury:

There are different types of radiation injury including radiation cystitis, radiation tissue injury, dental injury, and bowel injury. A study named “Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment in Radiation-Induced Cystitis and Politics: A Prospective Cohort Study on Patient-Perceived Quality of Recovery” stated that HBOT can act effectively to heal the soft tissue injuries induced by the radiation therapy. Several processes take place in the body to heal the injuries such as the production of stem cells, gene expression, enhancement of white blood cells, and the growth of blood vessels. HBOT supports these processes and the immune system as well.

10. Compromised skin grafts and flaps:

Hypoxia is the main pathophysiology of all compromised skin grafts and flaps. Hyperbaric chamber benefits include reducing the oxygen deficiency in a patient. The action of HBOT is designed to preserve the compromised flaps by closing arteriovenous shunts. This function also helps to improve wound healing.

11. Thermal burn injury:

Thermal burns refer to a multifactorial tissue injury that leads to a marked inflammatory response with vascular disorders. Several studies have established the benefits of HBOT in the treatment of thermal burn injury.

Final words:

The importance of hyperbaric chamber is increasing every day. People have started to depend on this treatment to combat the indications discussed above. More the people come to know about the hyperbaric chamber benefits, more the demand of the chamber is increasing.

Chloe Paltrow
Chloe Paltrow, a medical assistant. She has shared her knowledge in various websites and blogs like PsychCentral, Collective Evolution and Pick The Brain. Currently, she is studying how brain injury and brain disorders can be treated with hyperbaric chambers.