The advancement of medical technology is being focused more and more on prolonging human life and enhancing its quality. The target is optimal health that is essential to enjoy a meaningful life without which you are just a vegetable and the zest to survive goes low on the horizon.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is one of the emerging popular treatments that have almost become a regular healthcare feature enabling a person to lead a better quality of life. Yes, this treatment has provided amazing results in treating a number of serious ailments, especially chronic wounds.
Studies show on an average 6.5 Million Americans are down with chronic wounds. Open wounds are vulnerable to infection requiring immediate medical attention of the competent level.
Currently, HBOT is being extensively applied for healing wounds. Especially for patients with acute diabetes, the wounds seem never to heal. Diabetes sets up a poor blood circulation and nerve impairment.
As a consequence, for diabetic patients suffering from wounds, the only option left even a few years back was amputation of the affected limb altogether to avoid the incidence of gangrene that would take away the patient’s life. Here HBOT provides an answer.
As a biological principle to function efficiently, our body tissues need an adequate and continuous supply of oxygen. When the tissues are damaged, the oxygen requirement increases many times. As HBOT pumps in a larger volume of oxygen in the bloodstream, the normal levels of blood gases are temporarily revived. Tissue function improves as a consequence speeding up the healing process.
The treatment procedure for HBOT entails inhaling pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber or a duct. The procedure is technically sophisticated. It enhances the atmospheric pressure equivalent to that experienced at 33 feet below sea level in a 100 % oxygen rich environment. As the patient breathes in oxygen, it gears up the body’s natural curative process. More oxygen flows into the bloodstream making the healing process effective and faster. This extra dose of oxygen supply heals damaged tissues, catalyze tissue function and combat infections.
It is a unanimously accepted treatment for decompression sickness which is a bad effect of faulty scuba diving. In this procedure, the air pressure is increased threefold. This enables your lungs to take in more volume of pure oxygen than would have been possible at normal (460) atmospheric pressure.
The pure oxygen is then transported by blood throughout the body reaching every organ. This helps in combating bacteria and triggers release of substances called growth factor or stem cells that result in fast healing.
When a patient is administered 100 % oxygen under pressure, the hemoglobin is saturated. However, it is possible to hyper oxygenate the blood by dissolving oxygen within the plasma.
The patient can be given systemic oxygen through two basic chambers called:
- Type A – Multi place
2. Type B – Mono place
Both the type A and B can be employed for regular wound healing, treatment for injuries sustained by scuba diving and treatment of patients sent to ventilation and patients in critical conditions.
A word of caution!
Patients must submit a detailed history of their previous and existing medical history along with the medications taken before going into the oxygen chamber.
Ailments that can be treated effectively with HBOT:
– Severe anemia.
– Decompression sickness.
– Brain abscess.
– Sudden deafness.
– Skin and bone infection.
– Crushing injury.
– Diabetic foot ulcer.
– Radiation injury.
– Skin graft and
– Vision impairment.
-Carbon monoxide poisoning.
Just consider what a miracle can an increased supply of pure oxygen under pressure to your bloodstream achieve in terms of curing ailments which were apparently incurable. Hats off to HBOT and the efforts of medical professionals well acquainted with its application philosophy.
Side-effects of HBOT:
The side effects are minimum compared to the immense benefits of the treatment. However, some patients may experience temporary drowsiness and hyperactivity, pain and discomfort in ear and sinus due to the change in air pressure. Mild head ache and nausea may accompany but are very short lived.
Need for more facilities:
Even in the US, the number of HBOT facilities is not sufficiently large. There are only 361 chambers located throughout the nation out of which only 43 are equipped properly to answer the needs of critical cases. It is imperative that more numbers of effective HBOT chambers are installed.
Future growth of HBOT:
The wide global acceptance of this novel kind of therapy has seen a positive bearing on the sale of equipment related to HBOT. According to a marketing exercise and survey done by Future Market Insights (FMI), the global market for HBOT related equipment has a promising future with a flourishing Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.2 % during the projection period.
Acute and chronic wounds inflicting people are expected to rise further in future. Consequently, the application of HBOT instruments for taking care of the patient’s plight would also shoot up simultaneously.