Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy FAQ

What is your hyperbaric chamber like?

The three cylindrical pressure chambers measure eight feet across and are linked in an L-shape. Two are equipped to treat critically ill patients and together can accommodate up to 18 patients and six clinical staff. The third hyperbaric chamber links the two-patient hyperbaric chambers and allows staff and equipment access without affecting treatments in progress.

A dedicated group of physicians, critical care nurses, respiratory therapists and technicians provide constant hands-on care. Outside, at a wide panel of gauges, technicians trained in hyperbaric medicine, control the chamber's environment, increasing the atmospheric pressure until it is more than double the outside pressure.

Inside, patients are attended to throughout their treatment by our hyperbaric staff. By providing patient care in the hyperbaric chamber, we are uniquely equipped to treat the most sick and critically ill patients.

Isn't this just like physical therapy or something?

Hyperbaric oxygen is a medical procedure, more like surgery than physical therapy. While technicians and nurses provide some of the hands-on care, the Hyperbaric Medicine Specialist directs and supervises all aspects of the treatment regimen. Hyperbaric Oxygen has the capability to heal like no other medical treatment. It also has the ability to harm. It should only be done under the direct supervision of a medical specialist.

Does hyperbaric therapy hurt?

You will not have any pain. Your ears may feel full.

What type of training does a Hyperbaric Medicine Specialist have?

Hyperbaric Medicine Specialists are trained and medical board certified in Hyperbaric Medicine. Specialists will assess a patient's need and suitability for HBO2 treatment, as well as examine the patient every day to assess the patient's risk prior to treatment as well as treat the medical problems which led to the need for HBO2. HBOT specialists need to be present during the entire hyperbaric oxygen treatment to deal with questions and problems that arise.

Do I have to come every day?

That depends largely on your medical problem. Some injuries, like carbon monoxide poisoning or decompression injury, can often be treated with a single hyperbaric treatment, but radiation injuries and chronic wounds did not occur overnight and cannot be healed overnight.

Can I come twice in a day?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy induces healing over many treatments, a gradual process that requires a period of high oxygen content in the tissues, followed by a period of lower oxygen content. This starts a momentum of healing.

We find that a treatment schedule of at least five of seven days insures ongoing healing. Many studies have been performed researching the treatment plans that are used in Hyperbaric Medicine. Twice daily treatments, except for critically ill patients, do not increase the healing rate or decrease the healing time.

How many patients do you treat at the P/SL Hyperbaric Medicine Center?

We deliver between 3000 and 4000 patient hyperbaric treatments each year. 

Isn't this what they do at oxygen bars?

No, the main reason for oxygen bars is to separate you from your money. Breathing oxygen at ordinary atmospheric pressures for short periods of time provides little benefit for any medical conditions. If it did, oxygen bars would be as numerous as brew pubs. Higher concentrations of oxygen for longer periods of time can cause significant lung damage. In short, low doses of oxygen have little effect on most of the problems that we treat with Hyperbaric Oxygen, and higher doses must be given in a controlled fashion to limit the risk of complications.