What are the chambers like? What does it feel like in there?
In a mono-place chamber, the patient lies on a stretcher that slides into a large acrylic tube. This tube is then pressurized with 100% oxygen.
HBO2 therapy is painless. In a mono-place chamber, the patient lies down comfortably and may listen to music, watch television, or even take a nap during the therapy session. They may feel fullness in their ears as they adjust to changes in air pressure at the start of the session. This is similar to what a patient feels in an airplane when landing.
What if the patient has low blood glucose while in the chamber?
Patients with diabetes have their blood glucose levels checked before entering the HBO2 chamber. Then, they can have a snack, if needed, to prevent low blood glucose.
If the patient feels symptoms of low blood glucose or need any other kind of help, they can communicate with the attendants.
HBO2 therapy chambers are monitored from the outside by people using advanced controls and computer systems. Mono-place chambers have two-way intercom systems so that patients can speak with attendants outside the chamber.
Do patients have to do anything special to prepare for HBO2 Therapy?
There are several things to consider before starting HBO2 therapy:
How long will I get this therapy?
Most wounds require 30-40 HBO2 treatments. The treatments are usually given daily, 5-6 days per week, for 90 minutes. As the health care team, you will decide how many treatments your patients need.
Are there any side effects?
Some patients report crackling or popping in their ears between visits. This can be eased by using the same tips shown for dealing with ear problems while in the chamber. Patients may have to have tubes put in their ears to relieve ear pain.
Rarely, patients having HBO2 therapy have temporary changes in eyesight. If this happens, vision will return to normal within 6-8 weeks.
For more information about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and its uses, go to the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society: http://membership.uhms.org/