What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Why is it important?

Underwater Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine Dr. Aslıcan Çakalkurt gave information about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, which gives successful results in many diseases.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a mode of treatment offering successful outcomes with numerous diseases by increasing oxygen levels in blood and tissues. It is an evidence-based treatment method involving intermittent inhalation of 100%, i.e. pure, oxygen at high pressure, which has been scientifically proven to be effective in numerous studies.

The therapy is conducted in monoplace or multiplace pressure chambers. During treatment, patients inhale 100% oxygen through masks worn inside an enclosed pressure chamber. It usually takes 90-120 minutes and can be terminated within several minutes in case of an urgent need. The number of total sessions to be attended varies depending on the condition in question.

  • HBOT is practiced in various conditions such as sudden hearing loss, sudden loss of vision, bone infections, unhealing wounds, inadequate perfusion of bone tissue, tissue patches and burns.
  • Successful response to hyperbaric oxygen therapy has also been achieved in crushing- and avulsion-type injuries resulting from vehicular accidents, domestic-occupational accidents and natural disasters like earthquakes.
  • As our country is situated in a region that is prone to earthquakes, hyperbaric oxygen therapy offers a successful treatment option for injuries that may occur as a result of such a disaster, which further consolidates our capability to treat earthquake victims.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is of critical significance for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is also known as burner and heater poisoning, as well as decompression sickness experienced by divers.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy speeds up wound healing, supports development of new vasculature and cells functioning in bodily defense, and mitigates edema.
  • It has been shown to enhance efficacy of some antibiotics too.
  • Circulatory disorders and associated complications have been reported following aesthetic and cosmetic procedures, which have been on the rise particularly in recent years. Successful response to HBOT can be attained in such patients as well.

Being a mode of treatment based on application of pure oxygen inside pressure chambers, it is quite essential for HBOT to be carried out under safe circumstances. The mask, gown and other materials to be used by patients should be tailored for them. Due attention should paid to disinfection practices. Patients should be provided with a hygienic and safe treatment environment.

Timing of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is notably important for patients. Among patients who respond quite well to treatment early on, chances of success diminishes in case of delayed treatment. Therefore, patients should be referred to or present to an Undersea and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center in early stages. “


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