Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

 The below are FAQs about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment that uses 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized chamber to speed the healing process. It has been shown to be effective for diabetic ulcers and other chronic wounds, skin and bone infections, burns and damage from radiation. 

Why is pure oxygen used?

While many wounds heal naturally, others can be highly resistant to treatment. Injured tissue requires a higher level of oxygen to survive. Breathing 100 percent oxygen in a specialized environment increases the amount of oxygen in the blood to promote the body’s healing process. The increased oxygen level helps tiny new blood vessels form and increases the body’s ability to fight disease.

Is HBOT a new type of treatment?

No. Henry Ford Health System has been using HBOT to effectively treat wounds and infections since 1988. 

How do I get hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Ask your primary care provider or specialist to refer you for a consultation. If you are a candidate for HBOT, you will be scheduled with a Henry Ford hyperbaric medicine specialist.

Where does Henry Ford Health System offer HBOT?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is offered at three locations:

What is a treatment session like?

Patients are carefully monitored and able to communicate with a nurse or technician throughout treatment. As the air pressure increases, you may feel slight pressure in your ears, like being in an airplane or at a high altitude. 

Henry Ford Hyperbaric Center in Detroit and Henry Ford Macomb Health Center in Chesterfield provide treatment in individual-person oxygen chambers. Individual chambers are long, clear horizontal tubes in which you can comfortably lie down. You may choose to sleep, read, watch television or listen to music during treatment.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson offers a multi-person chamber. In a multi-person chamber, several individuals are comfortably seated in a pressurized room, each receiving oxygen through a separate, clear hood. During treatment, patients may relax, watch videos or talk with one another.

How many treatments will I need?

Typically, you will have 20 to 30 two-hour treatment sessions. Sessions are generally every weekday over a four to six-week time span. 

Are there any risks?

HBOT is generally a safe procedure, and complications are rare. Henry Ford Health System’s Hyperbaric Medicine team is comprised of highly experienced specialists. Our oxygen chambers are strictly monitored and maintained to comply with all safety standards. 

To find out if hyperbaric oxygen therapy could benefit you, talk with your primary care provider or specialist about a referral.

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