The treatment of hyperbaric oxygenation: a therapeutic alternative for different pathologies

Hyperbaric oxygenation therapy is a medical treatment in which oxygen is administered at a higher pressure than normal for the purpose of treating a certain condition or disease. Although for a long time it was the primary treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning and gas gangrene, it is now an invaluable resource for the management of a variety of pathologies. This is how hyperbaric oxygenation treatment (HBOT) has been particularly effective in treating wounds, chronic bone infections and radiation injuries.

The patient is placed inside a chamber where he receives 100% oxygen through a mask. The pressure inside the chamber increases progressively from an external compressor, managed by expert personnel. The number of sessions and their duration is indicated by the center’s medical team. The amplitude and comfort of the camera allows users to enter with equipment such as tablets, cell phones, laptops, books, etc.

The discomforts that appear in the first minutes of the session, such as hearing pressure and others, are easily reversed with deviant maneuvers. Each session is attended by specialized medical personnel. In the event of adverse reactions occurring in the course of the application of the treatment, the patient may notify the camera operator.

Some pathologies for which the hyperbaric chamber is applied are: gas embolism, carbon monoxide poisoning, cyanide poisoning, clostridial gas gangrene, ischemic traumatisms by attrition and / or crushing, controlled decompression of divers, wound healing, acute anemia by hemorrhage, soft tissue necrotizing infections, chronic osteomyelitis, radiation tissue damage, osteoradionecrosis, skin grafts and flap recovery, chronic ulcers in diabetic foot, recovery of bone fractures or ligamentous insults of athletes.

The physiological effects of HBOT are:

1) Hyperoxygenation: the high pressure inside the chamber increases between 10 to 15 times the concentration of plasma oxygen. This provides immediate support to damaged tissues.

2) Neovascularization: includes an increase in fibroblastic proliferation, neoformation of collagen, capillary angiogenesis in tissue areas with radiation damage, refractory osteomyelitis, and chronic ulcers in soft tissues, promoting the formation of granulation tissue.

3) Antimicrobial activity: strengthens the immune system and prevents the spread of infections.

4) Direct pressure: the pressure acting in accordance with Boyle’s law for gases, has allowed to solve the handling of the sudden decompression sickness of divers and the gaseous embolism in cerebral arteries.

5) Vasocontriction: prevents muscular edema and perfusion failure, which contributes to premature fatigue.

Source

RDMV Martínez – TecnoVet, 2001 – revistas.uchile.cl

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