Hyperbaric Medicine


Hyperbaric medicine is medical treatment in which an ambient pressure greater than sea level atmospheric pressure is a necessary component. The treatment comprises hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), the medical use of oxygen at an ambient pressure higher than atmospheric pressure, and therapeutic recompression for decompression illness, intended to reduce the injurious effects of systemic gas bubbles.

In the United States the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, known as UHMS, lists approvals for reimbursement for certain diagnoses in hospitals and clinics. The following indications are approved (for reimbursement) uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as defined by the UHMS Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee.

  • Air or gas embolism;
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning;
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning complicated by cyanide poisoning;
  • Central retinal artery occlusion;
  • Clostridal myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene);
  • Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemias;
  • Decompression sickness;
  • Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds;
  • Diabetically derived illness, such as short-term relief of diabetic foot, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy;
  • Exceptional blood loss (anemia);
  • Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss;
  • Intracranial abscess;
  • Mucormycosis, especially rhinocerebral disease in the setting of diabetes mellitus;
  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections (necrotizing fasciitis);
  • Osteomyelitis (refractory);
  • Delayed radiation injury (soft tissue and bony necrosis);
  • Skin grafts and flaps (compromised);
  • Thermal burns.

INTERESTING FACT
THE ENGLISH SCIENTIST JOSEPH PRIESTLY DISCOVERED OXYGEN IN 1775. SHORTLY AFTER ITS DISCOVERY, THERE WERE REPORTS OF TOXIC EFFECTS OF HYPERBARICOXYGEN ON THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND LUNGS, WHICH DELAYED THERAPEUTIC APPLICATION UNTIL 1937 , WHEN BEHNKE AND SHAW FIRST USED IT IN THE TREATMENT OF DECOMPRESSION SICKENESS....Read More

Doctors in this Specialty


Dr. Rene Virgil Best

MBBS MSc D.M.


Sports Medicine, Family Medicine/General Practice, Hyperbaric Medicine

  • Barbados
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