State-of-the-Art Oxygen Therapy for Wound Care
University Hospitals offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as a wound care treatment option. HBOT is a therapy that involves delivering high doses of oxygen to the body. It is done by breathing 100 percent oxygen through a special head gear while inside a pressurized air treatment room.
The pressure in the treatment room causes the oxygen to be dissolved in the patient’s blood. This extra oxygen is used by the body in many ways, such as reducing swelling, controlling infection, and stimulating the growth of new blood vessels. HBOT is used in conjunction with other treatment methods to help promote healing.
Conditions Treated with HBOT
Common medical conditions treated using HBOT include:
- Bone/tissue injury resulting from radiation therapy
- Chronic non-healing diabetic foot wounds
- Chronic bone infection
- Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Diabetic ulcers
- Soft tissue radionecrosis
Typical Treatment Plan
Hyperbaric treatments are two hours long, and are performed on a daily basis, six days a week. The necessary number of treatments is decided on an individual basis, but typically four to seven weeks of treatments are required for the desired healing to occur.
Making the Most of Treatment
There are several things a patient can do to improve their chances of success, including:
- Always attend appointments; regular, consistent attendance will help the patient the most.
- Smokers should consider stopping or at least cutting down. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to the healing tissues. All of the benefits of HBOT will be increased if the patient quits.
- Try to get plenty of rest and eat a balanced diet. These elements are key to the healing process.
Most insurance companies cover hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including Medicare and Medicaid. We will assist in obtaining verification of coverage from the patient’s insurance company prior to starting treatments.