Hyperbaric Medicine

Hyperbaric Medicine

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy sounds complicated, but it’s actually a fairly simple treatment. You’ll lie inside a roomy treatment chamber, where you can listen to music or watch TV, for about two hours. You’ll be breathing 100% oxygen, at a pressure higher than sea level.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the oxygen level in the blood and tissues through the delivery of pressurized oxygen in high concentrations. Boosting oxygen levels brings about positive changes that enhance wound repair and healing. When used in conjunction with standard wound care, hyperbaric oxygen has shown improved results in the healing of difficult wounds compared to routine wound care alone.

Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society Accreditation

The Robert J. and Pamela Morganti Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at Danbury Hospital is accredited through the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society.  

Accreditation is only awarded to those facilities that undergo an expert evaluation of their commitment to staffing and training, equipment installation, operation, maintenance, facility and patient safety and standards of care.

Conditions that May Benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

At Danbury Hospital, only those conditions that are approved by Medicare and the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS) are treated with hyperbaric oxygen. These include:

  • Air or gas embolism
  • Arterial insufficiencies
  • Bone infections
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
  • Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute ischemias
  • Decompression sickness (also known as “the bends”)
  • Diabetic wounds
  • Enhancement of healing in problem wounds
  • Exceptional blood loss (anemia)
  • Intracranial abscess
  • Necrotizing soft-tissue infections
  • Delayed radiation injury (soft-tissue and bony necrosis)
  • Skin grafts and flaps
  • Thermal burns
  • Sudden sensory neural hearing loss

What to Expect When You Have Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments provide 100% oxygen under pressure to the patient in the chamber. After first receiving medical clearance, you’ll typically come to the wound center for daily 110-minute treatment sessions. Inside the comfortable chamber you can nap, watch TV, sit up or shift around on the bed if needed.

What to Wear

We provide you with 100% cotton surgical scrubs to wear during the treatment.

What Not to Bring

The high-pressure oxygen environment requires certain precautions:

  • Lotions, creams, perfume, lip balm and petroleum-based wound ointments are not permitted.
  • No lighters, matches or chemical hand-warmers are allowed.
  • Battery-powered devices such as portable stereos or hearing aids may not be used in the chamber.

Tell Us about the Medications You Take

Hyperbaric oxygen may alter the effects of certain drugs so we need to know which prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking. To your first appointment, please bring along any drugs you plan to take while undergoing therapy.

It’s Best to Eat Before Treatment

Unless otherwise instructed, you should eat something before coming in for treatments. If you have diabetes, you should maintain your diet and take your insulin as usual. If you have any questions, please ask our staff.

Advice about Smoking

For the best results, smokers are urged to stop smoking during the weeks of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Nicotine reduces blood delivery to the wound area.