What are the benefits of hyperbaric medicine?
Hyperoxygenation - provides support to poorly perfuse tissue in areas of compromised blood flow. In pressurized conditions sufficient quantities of oxygen can be dissolved in the plasma thus increasing arterial oxygen values. This hyperoxygenation is only temporary but can maintain tissue viability until corrective measures can be implemented or a new blood supply is established.
Neovascularization - because hyperbaric oxygen causes intermittent elevated oxygen levels, new blood vessels can bud in areas that have been hypoxic. Therapeutic effects also include fibroblast division, new formation of collagen and capillary angiogenesis in area with sluggish vascular growth such as radiation damaged tissue.
Vasoconstriction - oxygen is capable of inducing mild vasoconstriction while also elevating tissue pO2 levels. This is helpful in managing mild to moderated compartment syndrome and other acute ischemia’s in injured extremities, as well as, reduces interstitial edema in grafted tissue. HBO has the capability to support injured edematous tissue while simultaneously reducing excess interstitial fluid.
Attenuation of Reperfusion Injury - Following an ischemic interval the total injury pattern is the result of two components: a direct irreversible injury from hypoxia and an indirect injury, which is largely mediated by the inappropriate activation of leukocytes. Hyperbaric oxygen reduces the indirect component by preventing the inappropriate activation of leukocytes. The net effect is the preservation of marginal tissue that would otherwise be lost to ischemia-perfusion injury.
Antibacterial Effects - the high arterial pO2 created by HBO are not bactericidal to anaerobes, but it is bacteriostatic. A hyperoxygenated environment enhances phagocytosis and white cell oxidative killing thus allowing the bodies normal defense mechanisms to eradicate infection. HBO has also been shown to potentiate the actions of certain antimicrobials.
Patient Referral and Consultation
If your patient’s treatment plan could be enhanced by hyperbaric oxygen therapy, please call to discuss your patient’s case and goals with one of our physicians. Once your patient is medically cleared for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment protocol and schedule will be established. A referring/primary care physician will remain responsible for the patient’s general medical management. The HBO team will provide updates, from a hyperbaric perspective, as appropriate. Call 901-516-5766 to consult with a HBO physician or refer a patient.