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What Medical Providers Should Know About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is gaining wider recognition and acceptance in the medical community, especially since the United States Food and Drug Administration approved two additional indications in 2021. More and more indications are being covered by insurance, so many patients are interested in finding providers who offer this treatment as it catches on in the mainstream.

If you are a medical provider interested in learning more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy — or making a patient referral — we have you covered. Keep reading to learn about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves placing patients in an oxygen chamber where air pressure is 1.5-3 times higher than average. In this environment, patients can breathe more oxygen into their lungs, speeding up the healing process for several conditions.

While it’s generally an outpatient procedure, some patients can receive it in a hospital setting during emergencies. Patients may need several rounds of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, depending on the condition to receive the full benefit.

What Conditions Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treat?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treats a wide range of conditions, including the following:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Decompression illness

  • Gas embolism

  • Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia

  • Crush Injury

  • Compartment Syndrome

  • Progressive necrotizing infections

  • Gas gangrene

  • Cyanide poisoning

  • Arterial insufficiencies

  • Severe anemia

  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections- where progressive is

  • Osteomyelitis (refractory)

  • Compromised grafts and flaps

  • Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss

  • Non healing Grade 3 and grade 4 Diabetic ulcers

  • Irradiation dermatitis and cystitis


Please read our referral form for a complete list of conditions covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Safe?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used for over 30 years and is generally considered safe. However, there are some side effects that providers and patients should know about, including myopia and barotrauma in the ear. More severe side effects include congestive heart failure, seizures, retinal changes, and pulmonary edema. That said, complications occur in less than 1 percent of patients, with ear pain being the most common.

Learn More About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a promising therapy option for many conditions. Placing patients in an oxygen-rich environment helps promote the body’s natural healing process for conditions ranging from carbon monoxide poisoning and gas embolisms to gas gangrene and cyanide poisoning.

If you have a patient who could benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, we’d love to help them! Refer them to Valley Hyperbaric Center.

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