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Is Oxygen a medicine?

HBOT Questions | Published: February 20th 2018, 06:51PM

Yes, the crucial element we all need to sustain life is in fact considered a medicine or a drug when given to patients in concentrations over 23% oxygen. When it comes to Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy we give our patients 100% medical grade oxygen and pressurize the patients to depths prescribed by our Hyperbaric Trained Medical Director.

Due to oxygen being a drug, a prescription is required for each patient prior to starting treatment with us. When a prescription is ordered for a patient there are 3 main components to it. The components are the: Depth, time, and amount of recommended treatments.

How deep will I go?

Dosing Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is like dosing antibiotics. It is important to follow the protocol to get results. At our center many of our patients are treated at 2.0ata(atmospheres) which is the equivalent to 33 feet below sea level. Some serious medical conditions can be treated as deep at 2.8ata or as little at 1.5ata.

There are also health factors that may affect what depths you can be treated at. The amount of pressure directly effects blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Therefore, a full risk assessment is competed by our Certified Hyperbaric technologists as well as our Medical Director to ensure safety for our patients.

Some of the most common factors that could affect treatment depths are:

  • High dose steroids
  • Certain Lung conditions
  • Certain Cardiac conditions

How long will I be in the chamber?

The timing in the chamber varies depending on the condition treated. The therapeutic timing is the time at depth which can vary from 60-90 minutes per treatment. Most patients are in the chamber for up to 90 minutes total time. This includes 60 minutes at depth/pressure and then the travel time going to and from pressure.

Travel time can vary due to the ability to clear your ears. Patients are not charged additional if it takes them extra time to get to their treatment depth. For example, a child would not go as fast to their treatment depth as an adult would, who is able to clear their ears. Travel time typically consists of 8-15 minutes each way.

Some conditions will require a patient to be treated at a deeper depth to be treated aggressively and ensure the best possible outcomes. For safety reasons if a patient needs to be treated at a deeper depth air breaks may be required.

Our chambers are equipped with Air Break capabilities in an event a patient needs these protocols. These conditions can take up to 120 minutes of total time. Some of the conditions that may require this protocol are:

  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Sudden Loss of Hearing
  • 100% blockage in an artery and the patient is awaiting surgery
  • Critical Limb complications
  • Failing/Failed Skin Flaps
  • Post-surgical complications
  • Surgical patients who receive treatment within 72 hours post-surgery.

How often do I need to come?

With most conditions repetition is key. Like antibiotics you can not just take one once a week and expect results. For chronic cases it is very important to come once a day Monday through Friday as the oxygen builds on itself. Just like antibiotics you may not feel better right away, about half way through you start to feel better, but it is important to finish the recommended treatments. Chronic conditions average around 40 treatments.

Non-chronic conditions can benefit in as little as one treatment, it all depends on the condition treated. All of our protocols are based on science as well as the many years of experience treating many medical conditions effectively with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

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