Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
The following information is from the
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
10531 Metropolitan Avenue
Kensington, Maryland 20895
UHMS Publication Number 30 CR (HBO) 1992
In an hypoxic environment, wound healing is halted by decreased fibroblast proliferation collagen production, and capillary angiogenesis (1). Hypoxia also allows growth of anaerobic organisms, further complicating wound healing. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides a significant increase in tissue oxygenation in the hypoperfused, infected wound. It influences the rate of collagen deposition, angiogenesis, and bacterial clearance in wounds. The greatest benefits are achieved in tissues with compromised blood flow and oxygen supply.
The increased wound oxygen tension achieved with HBO promotes wound healing, increases the host antimicrobial defenses and has a direct bacteriostatic effect on anaerobic microorganisms.
Venous Stasis Ulcers
HBO therapy has a very limited role. It is only indicated in highly selected patients in the preparation of a granulating bed over debrided venous ulcer for eventual skin grafting. (2)
HBO therapy may be useful when underlying osteomyelitis is present or to improve the soft tissue envelope for reconstruction.
Arterial Insufficiency Ulcers
HBO therapy may be of benefit in selected cases, especially when a wound fails to heal despite maximum revascularization.
HBO treatments are performed at 2.0 to 25 ATA for 90 to 120 minutes of oxygen breathing. The initial treatment schedule is dictated by the severity of the disease process. In the presence of limb-threatening infection after debridement or compromised surgical flaps following amputation the patient should be treated twice daily. When the infection is under control and the soft tissue envelope improves, once daily treatments are adequate.
1. La Van FB, Hunt TK: Oxygen and wound healing, Clinics in Plast Surg 1990; 17 (3): 463-472.
2. Chang N, Goodson WH III, Gottrup F, Hunt TK: Direct measurement of wound and tissue oxygen tension in postoperative patients, Ann Surg 1983; 197:470-478.
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