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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is an essential part of some chronic wound treatment plans. St. Rose Dominican's Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Centers offer comprehensive HBO services.

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO)?

Patients who receive HBO are basically breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room.The air pressure, in a chamber like the one shown above, is raised up to three times higher than normal air pressure, which allows the lungs to gather three times more oxygen than breathing pure oxygen at normal pressure.

The "super oxygenated" blood then carries the oxygen through the body releasing substances that promote healing. 

What is a HBO chamber?

HBO chambers weigh more than one ton and feature a reclining bed inside a clear acrylic window. While receiving oxygen therapy, you can listen to music or watch television or movies. The only physical sensation you may feel from the treatment is a slight pressure on your eardrums, similar to what you feel when you're in an airplane that is landing.

Who needs HBO?

People with certain medical conditions benefit from the increased levels of oxygen provided during HBO. Potential candidates include:

  • people with diabetes who have lower extremity wounds that are slow to heal
  • people with wounds that haven't shown improvement in four weeks of treatment
  • people with certain bone and skin infections
  • people with radiation injuries
  • people with compromised or failing skin grafts or flaps

Is HBO painful?

No! The only sensation you will experience occurs during the pressurization phase of the treatment when the slowly increasing pressure pushes on your eardrums. It is exactly the same feeling you experience when landing in an airplane or diving to the bottom of a swimming pool. The hyperbaric staff at St. Rose Dominican will talk to you about different ways to relieve this ear pressure.

How long do treatments last?

Treatments last about two hours. This includes the time it takes to pressurize and depressurize the chamber plus 90 minutes of treatment time.

Is HBO covered by my insurance?

Medicare has approved coverage for HBO therapy for many types of chronic nonhealing wounds, and most private insurance companies follow Medicare's guidelines. St. Rose Dominican's wound healing center staff will review your insurance plan with you before your therapy starts to make sure you know what your costs will be.

For more information on HBO or the St. Rose Dominican Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Centers, please call the San Martin Center at (702) 492-8281 or the Siena Center at (702) 616-4870.