Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen If you have a chronic wound, your physician may recommend hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy to jumpstart the healing process. We offer this treatment to people with all types of non-healing wounds to help promote healing.

HBO therapy provides 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized chamber. This therapy increases the amount of oxygen in the blood to boost your body’s natural healing process.

Our highly skilled wound care staff uses HBO along with surgery and medication for non-healing wounds. We treat conditions including:

  • Compromised skin grafts or flaps
  • Crush injury
  • Diabetic foot wounds
  • Gas gangrene
  • Hard-to-manage infections
  • Non-healing osteomyelitis (bone infection usually caused by bacteria)
  • Radiation necrosis, a rare complication of radiation therapy for cancer that damages and kills bone and soft tissue
  • Soft tissue infections
  • Surgical wounds
  • Thermal burns

How hyperbaric oxygen therapy works

Normally, the air we breathe is 21 percent oxygen. During HBO, you relax in a chamber while you breathe 100 percent oxygen.

The increased oxygen you breathe travels through your blood to your body’s tissues. The super-oxygenated blood helps fight infection, decrease swelling and encourage growth of new blood vessels.

The most common side effect of HBO treatment is a brief fullness or popping sensation in your ears. Negative side effects are rare, and your physician will discuss them with you in detail before your treatment.

What to expect during hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Your HBO session has three phases:

  • Compression: Inside the chamber, you can hear the compression gas circulating. You may feel popping in your ears, similar to what you might feel when you fly or drive in the mountains. During this process, a certified hyperbaric technician outside the transparent chamber communicates with you and adjusts the speed of compression for your comfort.
  • Treatment: When the pressure reaches the prescribed level, your treatment begins. During this time, you may rest, sleep, listen to music or watch television.
  • Decompression: The certified hyperbaric technician will let you know when the treatment is complete. He or she lowers the pressure at a rate that is comfortable to your ears.

Contact us for hyperbaric oxygen treatment

To learn more about our wound care and hyperbaric services at CHI Franciscan, please call:

  • Bremerton area: 360-744-6496
  • Burien area: 206-988-5724
  • Tacoma area: 253-426-6739 (wound care) or 253-426-6630 (hyperbaric medicine)