OXYGEN TREATMENT: how it works
HYPERBARIC oxygen treatment (HBOT) involves a patient breathing 100 per cent oxygen inside a treatment chamber at a pressure greater than sea level.
It is widely accepted as the standard treatment for decompression illness, or 'the bends', among divers.
It can also be used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, crush injuries, and enhance healing for wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, exceptional blood loss (anaemia), severe soft tissue infections, and radiation burns that develop after cancer therapy.
Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells.
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With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body's fluids, including the blood plasma and lymph.
The increased concentration means that transport of free oxygen from blood into the tissues is increased at least 10 fold.
The extra oxygen reaches damaged tissues and supports the body's healing process.
It also boosts the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas.