Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chamber

360° Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Images

What is it?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen intermittently while inside a treatment “chamber” at a pressure higher than sea level pressure. At Decatur Memorial Hospital your treatments will be in a mono-place hyperbaric chamber which is designed to have only one person in the chamber at a time. The chamber is filled and circulated with 100% oxygen (regular air is approximately 21% oxygen) while pressurized. Other clinics have multi-place chambers in which two or more patients can undergo treatment at the same time. In this type of chamber the patient must wear an oxygen hood or mask to receive the 100% oxygen.

How can I be referred to receive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Should your treating Physician decide that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy should be considered for the care of your wound you will then undergo a medical examination conducted by a Physician specifically trained in Hyperbaric Therapy. This examination is performed to determine if your diagnosis is appropriate and coverable for Hyperbaric treatment and to insure that you are physically able and safe to receive this form of therapy.

Depending on this evaluation it may be necessary that the Hyperbaric physician require further testing including but not limited to: x-rays, examination by other specialists, and wound site oxygen monitoring (transcutaneous oxygen monitoring). These would be done to insure your complete safety and comfort while receiving Hyperbaric treatment.

Upon the determination that your diagnosis is appropriate and you are safe to participate in hyperbaric therapy your appointment will be scheduled through DMH’s Centralized Scheduling department.

What medical conditions are covered by Medicare for Hyperbaric treatment?

Not all medical conditions are coverable by Medicare and other insurance carriers for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Below is a list of the current medical conditions/diagnoses that Medicare allows:

  1. Diabetic Wounds of the lower extremity that meet the following criteria:
    a. Patient has Type I or II diabetes and a lower extremity wound due to diabetes.
    b. Patient has a wound classified as a Wagner grade III or higher.
    c. Patient has documented record of 30 days failure to heal from an adequate    course of standard wound care.
  2. Acute Carbon Monoxide intoxication
  3. Decompression illness (The Bends)
  4. Crush injuries and suturing of severed limbs as adjunctive treatment when loss of function, limb, or life is threatened.
  5. Osteoradionecrosis and soft tissue radionecrosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment.
  6. Carbon Monoxide poisoning complicated by Cyanide poisoning (smoke inhalation).
  7. Gas Embolism.
  8. Gas Gangrene.
  9. Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia in conjunction with accepted standard therapeutic measures when loss of function, limb, or life is threatened.
  10. Necrotizing Fascitis.
  11. Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency.
  12. Preparation and preservation of compromised skin grafts (not for primary management of wounds or for artificial skin grafts).
  13. Chronic non-healing osteomyelitis, unresponsive to conventional medical and surgical management.
  14. Actinomycosis only as an adjunct to conventional therapy when the disease in non-responsive to antibiotics and surgical treatment.

What to expect during your Hyperbaric treatments

You will be seen by a Hyperbaric trained physician and nurse each time you receive a Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment. The physician will be present for the “decent” and “ascent” portions of the treatment.

While Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments are very safe certain safety precautions must be taken. Due to this patients will only be allowed to wear hospital issued gowns or scrubs and the following items can not be allowed in the chambers during treatment:

Hair gel Cell phones
Hair spray Pagers
Perfume Batteries
Nail polish Hearing aids
Make up Matches or lighters
Lotion or oil Hand warmers
Street clothes or shoes Electronics of any sort
Watches or jewelry Keys
Paper products (books, newspaper) Any metal objects

Or any other objects deemed unsafe by this center or staff.