Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy [HBOT] is a fascinating specialised branch of medicine based on the principle of increased oxygen delivery to body tissues by increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the plasma.
HBOT is a form of treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure, that is greater than 1 atmosphere absolute[1 ATA]. 1 ATA = 760mmHg.
HBOT is given in special therapeutic chambers which provide oxygen under high pressure, which were earlier used mainly to treat illness of deep sea divers. All over the world Hyperbaric Medicine has found a distinct role in the modern era of evidence-based medicine.
HBOT generally is delivered through one of two different chambers, Monoplace or Multiplace chambers. In Monoplace chamber one patient can be accommodated at a time and exposed to ( 2- 3 ATA pressure) 100% oxygen is given to the patient for about 90 – 120 minutes ( called as 1 Run). Multiplace chamber can cater for about 4 – 10 patients at a time. Patients in a multiplace chamber breathes 100% oxygen via a mask. HBOT can be given for 5 days a week and a total of 20 - 30 runs are required depending upon the size and severity of wound.
Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body by the red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body fluids and it reaches all areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. By giving 100% O2 at higher pressure like 2 ATA & 3 ATA, the amount of oxygen dissolved in plasma increases to 4.44 ml and 6.80 ml respectively, compared to 0.32 ml when a person breathes oxygen at normal pressure. It is a simple, non - invasive and painless treatment.Many conditions such as Diabetic foot, Non healing ulcers, Post radiation necrosis have responded favorably to HBOT.
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