Body

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Garnet Health 

Relied upon by doctors for more than 100 years, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is used to help facilitate or accelerate healing in patients with wounds and stubborn infections that can result from medical conditions like diabetes and osteomyelitis. 

Garnet Health is pleased to offer HBOT and highly specialized wound care, along with urgent and emergency medical treatment for injuries, to patients in Orange and Sullivan Counties. Our specialists deliver an exceptional patient experience by providing individualized guidance, clear communication and expertly coordinated multidisciplinary care throughout every step of the treatment process. We encourage you to consult with our team if a non-healing wound is preventing you from enjoying your favorite activities and living your best life. 

An Overview of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 

How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work? 

Oxygen plays a key role in the healing process. Every day, we breathe air that is roughly 80% nitrogen and only 20% oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy stimulates healing by allowing patients to breathe in 100% oxygen at an air-pressure level 1.5 to 3 times higher than normal.  

HBOT involves lying comfortably in a single-person enclosed bed, referred to as a chamber. The chamber is completely or partially covered in acrylic so the patient can see outside or watch television. A certified technician slowly increases the atmospheric pressure inside the chamber, which is filled with 100% oxygen. This pressure increase allows the patient to breathe in large amounts of pure oxygen, helping to repair damaged tissues, increase tissues’ oxygen levels and promote the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Treatment usually lasts for an hour to 90 minutes and a technician is present throughout the process. 

When Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Appropriate?    

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be recommended to help treat infected, non-healing or complex wounds and various other medical conditions, including:   

  • Air bubbles inside blood vessels (arterial gas embolism) 
  • Bone infections (osteomyelitis) 
  • Burns 
  • Carbon-monoxide poisoning 
  • Crush injuries 
  • Decompression illness 
  • Diabetic wounds 
  • Flesh-eating diseases
  • Gangrene 
  • Radiation injuries 
  • Tissue death or tissues at risk of dying 

HBOT may also help boost the body’s immune system and prevent harmful bacteria from causing damage by inactivating toxins.

What Are the Risks of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?  

The risks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are minimal; this therapy does not involve incisions or potent drugs. The most common side effect of HBOT is a temporary crackling sensation or feeling of fullness in your ears, similar to what you might experience as an airplane ascends or descends. Rarely, side effects may involve: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Ear-fluid buildup 
  • Finger numbness 
  • Discomfort in the sinuses or ears 
  • Oxygen toxicity 
  • Worsening of near-sightedness  

Your doctor will carefully detail the benefits and potential risks of HBOT and address any concerns you may have prior to treatment. 

Preparing for Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments

If your physician has subscribed Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments as a method to improve or resolve your condition, there are several things that you will be asked to do in order to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment. Some of which, include:

  • Please bring a list of all your current medications and vitamins with their dosages. You will be instructed to take vitamin E 400 units daily during the entire course of HBO therapy. This will help protect your body from absorbing more oxygen than it can safely use.
  • It is important that you notify us of any symptoms of a cold or flu, fever, sore throat, runny nose, fever blisters, cold sores, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and general aches. Those symptoms are not helped by oxygen, so the HBO treatments may need to be postponed until the symptoms have subsided and the doctor allows the HBO treatments to resume.
  • Stop smoking. Smokers have higher levels of carbon monoxide levels than non- smokers and do not receive the full benefit of oxygen therapy.
  • You may not use any products that contain a petroleum or alcohol base prior to your treatment. Please look at your makeup, hair spray, perfume, shaving lotion or deodorant to see if they contain these ingredients. The presence of petroleum or alcohol during HBO treatment can cause a fire.
  • You will be provided with 100 percent cotton gowns for your treatment. NO other articles of clothing are to be worn during the treatment. You must remove all jewelry, hard contact lenses and other prosthetic devices before the treatment.
  • The nurse or technician in the unit will schedule your treatments on a daily basis. Every effort will be made to accommodate your schedule, but emergencies do arise and your appointment may need to be rescheduled. If you need to cancel or change your appointment please call the office as soon as possible.

Garnet Health is pleased to provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy to patients in Orange County, Sullivan County and surrounding areas.

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