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Hyperbaric Medicine

Hyperbaric medicine is a medical treatment administered by delivering 100 percent oxygen at pressures greater than atmospheric (sea level) pressure to a patient in an enclosed chamber. The hyperbaric chamber is a steel, aluminum, or clear plastic room in which air can be compressed to a pressure that is greater than sea level. Most patients are treated at a pressure equivalent to two or two and a half times normal atmospheric pressure. Chambers can have port holes (small windows) or be made of a special thick strong plastic shell. They can be equipped with comfortable reclining chairs or patients can stretch out to a completely flat position. To enhance patient comfort, music or movies can be played during treatments which are usually provided through a headset or an interior speaker. Whenever the chamber is in use, medical personnel trained in hyperbarics are in constant contact via visual or audio communications.

Hyperbaric oxygen acts as a drug, eliciting varying levels of response at different treatment depths, durations, and dosages and has been proven effective as adjunctive therapy for specifically indicated conditions. The following is a partial list of conditions that have been determined to be acceptable indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy by Medicare, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), and the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (ACHM).

It is important to note that each organization has its own list of approved indications and the following list is a combination of those lists and not an approved list from any one organization listed here. In most cases, medical insurance carriers (including Medicare and Medicaid) provide coverage for hyperbaric oxygen therapy:

Acute / Emergent
-Cyanide/Carbon monoxide poisoning
-Cerebral arterial gas embolism
-Exceptional blood loss-anemia
-Necrotizing soft tissue
-Gangrene
-Crush injury
-Thermal burns
-Brown Recluse spider bite

Chronic
-Actinomycosis
-Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds
-Compromised skin graft flaps
-Radiation necrosis
-Refractory osteomyelitis
-Refractory mycoses
-Chronic fatigue (in HIV)

Visit the National Healing Center website for more information.



See also Wound Care for more info

 

 

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Newburyport Office
Anna Jaques Hospital
Suite 3-4A
21 Highland Avenue
Newburyport, MA 01950
P 978.462.8300
F 978.462.8301

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