Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen at higher than atmospheric pressures in an enclosed chamber. This process causes oxygen to be absorbed by all body fluids and by all body cells and tissues, even those with blocked or reduced blood flow. This increased flow of oxygen stimulates and restores function to damaged cells and organs, including those of the liver and brain. Whilst in the chamber the patient breathes 100% oxygen delivered through a mask.
Several disease states have been shown to respond to either primary or adjunct HBO therapy including intravascular gas or bubble-mediated diseases, carbon monoxide poisoning, acute and chronic infections and ischaemic processes. The European Committee for Hyperbaric Medicine (EHCM) has advocated hyperbaric oxygen as first line treatment of the following :
- Air or gas embolism
- Decompression illness
- Gas gangrene
- Necrotising fasciitis
- Post-radiotherapy tissue damage
- Preparation for surgery in previously irradiated tissue
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine
In addition, the USA Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS) supports the use of hyperbaric oxygen for the following :
- Crush injury
- Severe blood loss anaemia
- Selected problem wounds
- Compromised skin flap and grafts
- Refractory osteomyelitis
- Thermal burns
The diving chamber is a fully equipped saturation chamber with full mixed gas facility and a 34.4 bar (1000′ of seawater) capability. It is one of the deepest diving chambers in the country. Our second chamber is a medical chamber which features a walk-in door and can hold up to 10 seated patients or 4 hospital theatre trolleys.
There are intensive care facilities within both hyperbaric chambers, including high-tech patient monitoring and ventilatory support for management of the critically ill. In addition to the equipment within the chambers, we have the ability, if necessary, to defibrillate a patient whilst the chamber is pressurised.
The Hyperbaric Facility is one of only 9 ‘Cox’ Category One facilities on the UK mainland.
We can deal with any hyperbaric emergency, including patients requiring full intensive support. We are also capable of treating multiple patients simultaneously.
The team consists of consultants who have experience in anaesthesia, intensive care and hyperbaric medicine. They are supported by ICU nurses and a strong technical support team who provide expert care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The hospital has a helipad adjacent to the Hyperbaric Facility thus allowing immediate access to the recompression chambers for patients arriving via helicopter.
‘Cox’ Category One facilities on the UK mainland
Equivalent depth of seawater capability