Hyperbaric oxygen therapy consists of increasing the oxygen levels in the blood for medical purposes. This is what is called hyperoxia. To achieve it, patients receive oxygen at a pressure of at least 1.4 atmospheres using a mask inside a hyperbaric chamber. Hyperoxia has, among other benefits, anti-inflammatory effect; bactericidal action; and acts on the cellular metabolism. It also favors the formation of new blood vessels and improves blood flow.
“Although the hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is increasingly widespread in the world, there are still many myths and its process of action and even application is unknown,” says Dr. Delfina Ferris, medical director of BioBarica Spain. For example, one of the false beliefs is that hyperbaric medicine cures by itself when it is a coadjuvant treatment in different pathologies.
It has 356 years of history. It is believed that it is a new medical specialty, but it is not like that. Its origins date back to 1662 when the British physiologist Henshaw proposed the construction of a compressed air chamber to treat diseases of his time. “Since then, hyperbaric medicine has years of research, development, and growth and there are countless jobs that focus on its benefits, what is really new is the equipment and technology that we use today,” says Romero.
Some things you probably did not know about HBOT
It is suitable for claustrophobic. People who have a phobia of enclosed spaces can easily access hyperbaric chambers. Its constant ventilation and the windows through which the patient can see the outside at all times reduce that feeling of claustrophobia. We must also know that they have a system of valves for opening and closing quickly, where the patient could be out in less than a minute.
It is beneficial for older adults. As the age advances, people suffer an increase in free radicals, in addition to a loss of alveolar capacity of oxygen diffusion. HBOT benefits this diffusion and increases oxygenation in the blood of the tissues, which reduces free radicals by increasing antioxidation.
It is always done with a medical indication. “No one can access treatment with Hyperbaric Oxygen if it has not been prescribed by a doctor before. The derivation as coadjuvant therapy can be done by a neurologist, a vascular surgeon, a traumatologist or a sports medicine specialist, but the treatment guidelines must only be prescribed by a specialist of a hyperbaric medicine unit, since each case requires a different number, frequency, and duration of the sessions “, explains Dr. Elías López, head of BioBarica in Madrid.
The oxygenation is done by the respiratory route. Oxygen does not pass to the blood through the skin. Its absorption is done through the lungs while we breathe oxygen with a high concentration of purity. When increasing the pressure what we do is increase the diffusion of oxygen (more than 10 times), which means that more oxygen goes into the blood.
It works for rehabilitation. As a coadjuvant treatment, hyperbaric oxygen is giving satisfactory results in the treatment of neurological problems, polytraumatisms, and sports injuries.
Hyperbaric chambers are universal access. Patients with reduced mobility have no problem when accessing to the Revitalair 430 hyperbaric chambers.
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