Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a mode of therapy in which the patient breathes 100% oxygen at pressures greater than normal atmospheric (sea level) pressure.
The unique and specialized hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments at GSH provide incredible benefits to the body, brain, tissues, lungs, and more.
In the United States the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, known as UHMS, lists approvals for reimbursement for certain diagnoses in hospitals and clinics. The following indications are approved (for reimbursement) uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as defined by the UHMS Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee
- Air or gas embolism
- Central retinal artery occlusion
- Clostridal myositis and myonecrosis(gas gangrene)
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemias
- Decompression sickness
- Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds
- Exceptional blood loss (anemia)
- Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
- Intracranial abscess
- Necrotizingsoft tissue infections (necrotizing fasciitis)
- Delayed radiation injury(soft tissue and bony necrosis)
- Skin graftsand flaps (compromised)
- Thermal burns
Evidence is insufficient as of 2013 to support its use in autism, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, Bell’s palsy, cerebral palsy, depression, heart disease, migraines, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, sports injuries, or stroke. Despite the lack of evidence, in 2015, the number people utilizing this therapy have continued to rise.
- Hearing issues
Recent studies have indicated that HBO therapy is recommended and warranted in those patients with idiopathic sudden deafness, acoustic trauma or noise-induced hearing loss within 3 months after onset of disorder.
- Chronic ulcers
HBOT in diabetic foot ulcers increased the rate of early ulcer healing but does not appear to provide any benefit in wound healing at long term follow-up. In particular, there was no difference in major amputation rate. For venous, arterial and pressure ulcers, no evidence was apparent that HBOT provides an improvement over standard treatment.
- Radiation injury
There are signs that HBOT might improve outcome in late radiation tissue injury affecting bone and soft tissues of the head and neck. In general patients with radiation injuries in the head, neck or bowel showed an improvement in quality of life after HBO therapy. On the other hand, no such effect was found in neurological tissues. The use of HBOT may be justified to selected patients and tissues, but further research is required to establish the best patient selection and timing of any HBO therapy.
There is tentative evidence for HBOT in traumatic brain injury. As of 2012 there is insufficient evidence to support its general use in TBI. In stroke HBOT does not show benefit. HBOT in multiple sclerosis has not shown benefit and routine use is not recommended.
A 2007 review of HBOT in cerebral palsy found no difference compared to the control group. Neuropsychological tests also showed no difference between HBOT and room air and based on caregiver report, those who received room air had significantly better mobility and social functioning. Children receiving HBOT were reported to experience seizures and the need for tympanostomy tubes to equalize ear pressure, though the incidence was not clear.