Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment that increases the amount of oxygen in the patient's blood. While lying in a large, submarine-like chamber, patients receive an infusion of 100 percent oxygen as it is circulated to the chamber at pressure levels two to three times greater than normal. The high pressure causes the lungs and body tissues to absorb the oxygen in a shorter amount of time, in greater amounts, and the oxygen boost to the wound promotes healing.
Because it promotes blood flow and increases oxygen circulation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy also has proven to be effective in treating decompression sickness from scuba diving injuries, carbon monoxide poisoning, chronic bone infections, complications arising from prior radiation treatments, traumatic wound injuries to bone, muscle or blood vessels, spider bites, peripheral vascular disease, gas gangrene infections, compromised skin grafts, reattachment of limbs and surgical incisions.
At the unit, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administered by pressurizing the multiplace (multiple patient) chamber with air to an equivalent of 2.4 atmospheres and having patients breathe 100 percent oxygen using a mask or hood. This increases the level of oxygen delivered to the tissues and augments wound healing and repair. The facility at Texas Health Dallas is one of only six in the country that is an ACGME approved Hyperbaric Fellowship through UT Southwestern to train physicians.
The multiplace chamber allows hands-on medical care to be provided in the hyperbaric environment and enables more patients to be treated at one time, improving comfort, medical support and cost effectiveness. The primary clinical use centers around its application in wound healing. In the case of soft tissue radionecrosis, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administered to promote angiogenesis and neovascularization in compromised areas.
The Multiplace Chamber
Wound care’s environmental chamber is a multiplace hyperbaric chamber capable of accommodating up to seven patients at one time. Chamber operations are monitored by advanced computer systems. Equipment for managing medical emergencies inside the chamber includes cardiac monitoring, suctioning and mechanical ventilation. The chamber is equipped with a large screen TV so patients may view movies during the treatment.
Current Accepted Indications for Treatment
The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society’s Committee on hyperbaric oxygen has approved the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as adjunctive or primary treatment for the diseases and conditions listed below. The use of hyperbaric oxygen is accepted by most national insurance carriers and Medicare as a guideline for reimbursement.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is currently indicated as the primary mode of therapy for the following conditions:
- Air or gas embolism
- Decompression sickness
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is currently indicated as an important adjunctive therapy for the following conditions:
- Radiation tissue damage (soft tissue and osteoradionecrosis)
- Clostridial myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome, acute traumatic ischemias
- Necrotizing soft tissue (subcutaneous, muscle, fascia) infections
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Diabetic foot and other problem non-healing wounds
Texas Health Dallas is the only hyperbaric oxygen unit in the region that has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.
Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine Hyperbaric Oxygen Unit at Texas Health Dallas
7232 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231