The Quemados Hospital of Buenos Aires implements Hyperbaric Treatment

March 3, 2020


2m 54s


For a year and a half, it offers free treatment in Hyperbaric Chamber. This therapy helps prevent amputations and accelerates the healing of complex wounds. It is a great advance for Argentine public health.

In September 2018 the Hospital de Quemados “Dr. Arturo U. Illia” incorporated a hyperbaric chamber as part of the treatment for burns and wounds of complex scarring, (including diabetic foot, ulcers with infections and radiolesions), neurological rehabilitation (post-stroke recovery mainly) and sudden deafness. Since then, the hospital has treated more than 100 cases with this medical device.

It is proven that Hyperbaric Chamber Treatment reduces pain and inflammation, accelerates healing, reduces complications and improves the quality of life of patients. Dr. Mercedes Porta, Head of the Department of Plastic Surgery and Burns of the Hospital, mentions three cases that prove it:

  • Patient with advanced ulcer

Julia (79 years old) was admitted to the Quemados Hospital in February 2019. Previously she had gone to other medical institutions where she received different diagnoses and treatments. At the time she presented an ulcer near the ankle, with a deep advance in the wound and symptoms that affected her daily activities, including vomiting, pain in the body and weight loss. With 30 sessions in the hyperbaric chamber all these symptoms were reversed.

Dr. Portas explains: “In addition to the improvement in the wound, the patient managed to improve the vision of the left eye, which had a diagnosis of retinal detachment. She has a better mood, she returned to her daily activities and in the meantime she continues in treatment since the ulcer is closed at 70% ”.

  • Pediatric patient with severe burn

A 2-year-old girl was admitted to the Quemados Hospital for a burn in her hand after a cell phone charger exploded. Initially, the total amputation of the thumb was considered as the only alternative. Then the Hyperbaric Oxygenation Treatment was indicated and in the first three sessions there were changes that allowed recovering the first phalanx and avoiding total amputation. "This is one of the cases we discussed most in the hospital because of the severity of the injury and because we managed to reverse a completely pessimistic diagnosis”, says Portas.

  • Patient with sudden deafness

A patient with sudden deafness (40 years) was referred from another hospital. Through an audiometry it was observed that he had total hearing loss in one of the ears. After 10 sessions in the Hyperbaric Chamber, the study was repeated and it was observed that he had recovered part of his hearing. Dr. Portas says: "All these cases can be objectified with evidence of studies."

It is the first time that a public hospital in the City of Buenos Aires has access to this type of technology and can provide it for free to its patients. The donation of the equipment was made by BioBarica, a 100% national company and the only manufacturer of hyperbaric chambers approved by ANMAT. The hospital staff was trained by the Argentine Association of Hyperbaric Medicine and Research (AAMHEI).

Hospital staff doctors made arrangements to have this type of technology and accelerate the recovery process of their patients, as well as shorten hospitalization times and consultations due to the number of people who arrive daily seeking attention.

How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy work?

The patient enters a pressurized Hyperbaric Chamber and breathes high concentrations of oxygen through a mask. This increased availability of oxygen in the blood plasma reaches all body tissues, including those affected. Thus, a series of beneficial effects is triggered for different pathologies that occur with inflammation and pain.

Dr. Portas explains that this is the reason why recovery is accelerated. The use of the Hyperbaric Chamber also translates into cost benefit for health institutions, since it shortens hospitalization times and decreases the risk of infection.

The Quemados Hospital has not only incorporated the Hyperbaric Chamber into the treatment scheme of patients, but also actively works on the development of protocols on the use of this therapy in induced radio burns, thermal burns, burns in diabetic patients, requirements for grafts and dermal flaps, among other applications. It is a great advance for the public health of the country and the latest technology at the service and benefit of all patients.

More information: Dr. Arturo U. Illia Burns Hospital. Pedro Goyena Avenue 369 (CABA).