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Hyperbaric Medicine

What is hyperbaric medicine?


Hyperbaric therapy itself dates back over 300 years. At that time, a chamber was built with air valves that could increase or decrease barometric pressure within the chamber to treat various illnesses and ailments. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was tested and developed by the United States Navy after World War I for the treatment of decompression sickness in divers. Today, this treatment is used for several medical conditions such as non-healing wounds, chronic soft tissue infections, radiation damaged tissue and bones as well as many other disorders.

 

During treatment, a patient's entire body is placed under increased atmospheric pressure in a closely monitored, airtight chamber. The patient breathes 100 percent oxygen for a specific amount of time at a specific pressure. The type of treatment needed determines the amount of pressure and the amount of time spent in the chamber (approximately two hours). Breathing 100 percent oxygen increases the amount of oxygen reaching damaged tissues in the body - there by promoting healing.

Treatments are painless and can be used to treat patient with non-healing wounds, chronic soft tissue infections, chronic bone infections and radiation damaged tissue as well as many other disorders.

 

Will the additional pressure inside the chamber make me feel different?
No. However, during the process of pressurization, you'll notice a slight pressure in your eardrums. You can counteract this pressure by swallowing or blowing your nose with your lips closed. The hyperbaric technician and nurse will assist you through this process.

 

How long do treatments last?
Most treatments take approximately 2 hours.

 

How many treatments will I need?
Treatment schedules are based on each individual's case. In most wound cases, anywhere from 20-30 treatments are required.

Will my insurance cover the cost of hyperbaric treatment?
Most insurance companies cover hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the conditions we treat. We will obtain verification of your coverage before we begin treatments.

Are there any side effects from hyperbaric treatment?
Very rarely, some patients may experience some change in eyesight. However, these changes are almost always temporary and should return to pre-treatment condition within about eight weeks.

What happens if I get nervous or panic in the chamber?
There will be a doctor, nurse or hyperbaric medical technician with you at all times to answer all your questions and see to your medical needs.

Will my doctor who referred me for treatment still be my doctor?
Yes, hyperbaric medicine is a consultation and treatment program only. Your referring physician will always remain in charge of your case.

Can I refer a friend or relative for hyperbaric treatment?
Baptist Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at Princeton accepts hyperbaric patients only through a physician's referral. It is advisable that each patient be appropriately evaluated by their own physician before being referred to us.

When are hyperbaric treatments performed?
Hyperbaric treatments are performed on a scheduled basis Monday through Friday. Call 205-783-3740 or 205-783-3727 for more information.

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