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Wound Care: What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

If you have chronic, non-healing wounds — particularly if they're diabetes-related wounds — our staff might recommend Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a method for treatment.

What is HBOT?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helps to boost the healing process by providing patients with pure oxygen to breathe in a pressurized room or tube. At Columbus Regional Healthcare System, we use a pressurized room, or chamber, to administer our HBOT treatments.

HBOT chambers increase the air pressure to three times the normal air pressure, allowing your lungs to gather much more oxygen, which in turn travels through the bloodstream and stimulates stems cells and growth factors to promote the healing of damaged tissue.

Damaged issue requires more oxygen than healthy, functioning tissue to fight infections and heal, so this boost in oxygen can help to restore the normal tissue function.

What does HBOT treat?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treats a number of conditions, including carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, skin or bone infections, radiation injuries, non-healing wounds (such as diabetic foot ulcers), skin grafts, burns, brain abscesses, anemia and much more.

Furthermore, HBOT is generally a safe procedure with low risk for negative side effects that are life-threatening. Typical side effects include temporary nearsightedness, dizziness and possibly middle ear injuries due to the increased air pressure.

Your doctor will discuss risks with you, but be sure to voice any concerns or questions that you have with them beforehand as well.

What can I expect when receiving HBOT?

At Columbus Regional Healthcare System, we have an HBOT chamber, which means you will be receiving treatment while lying in a monoplace, a plastic tube seven to eight feet long.

You'll be asked to wear a cotton hospital gown during the procedure and may be asked to refrain from wearing certain hair or skin products the day of your treatment.

Once inside the sealed chamber, you will be able to breathe normally and should be able to speak with the therapist or technician at any time during the treatment.

Sessions can range in duration from 30 minutes to two hours depending on your particular treatment plan.

For more information, visit our Wound Care Services Page, or call 910-640-4070.

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