Wound patients can experience the healing process in a superior facility here at the Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Wound Healing Services. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a treatment that increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, allowing oxygen to pass more easily from the blood stream and into the wound to heal them. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chambers provide patients with one hundred percent oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure. Wounds that haven’t healed in four weeks should be evaluated by the IU Health Ball Memorial Wound Healing Services to determine if selected patients who show no healing after the usual treatments should considered for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as an appropriate treatment plan.
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) the right treatment for me?
HBO therapy treatments are recommended for wound patients who have:
- Lower extremity wounds that are slow to heal
- Wounds that haven’t shown improvements in four weeks of treatment
- Certain bone and skin infections
- Radiation injuries
- Compromised or failing skin grafts or flaps
What can I expect to happen during treatment?
Each treatment usually lasts about two hours. Although you cannot bring any items into the chamber with you, your time can be spent resting or napping. All chambers are equipped with a television, so you can also watch TV or a movie during your treatment.
If you are feeling anxious about the treatment, your hyperbaric physician can prescribe medication to relax you. However, HBO treatments are not painful at all and are very safe. The only sensation you will feel throughout the extent of the process is during the pressurization phase of your treatment where you may feel pressure on your eardrums similar to feelings you would undergo when landing a plane. You will also be able to talk with the physician at any time via a two-way communication microphone. Patients treated in the IU Health Ball Memorial Wound Healing Services are given an orientation prior to the first treatment to make the experience more comfortable.
How many treatments will I undergo?
Depending on the response to the procedures, the number of HBO treatments differs for each person. Typically, a patient with a wound problem will average twenty to forty treatments in total. Treatments for most chronic wounds are usually done daily on weekdays, but not on weekends. Every HBO therapy treatment you receive will be conducted at IU Health Ball Memorial Wound Healing Services and supervised by a specially-trained physician and monitored by a trained hyperbaric technician.