During the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1860s, divers submerged under the East River to lay the foundations of the bridge. Many divers experienced “the bends” or Decompression Illness, which is the result of a Nitrogen imbalance in the blood after rapidly coming up from underwater. As a way to reverse the bends, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) began treating divers by simulating the ascending pressures of being underwater inside of a chamber at a slower rate.
Today, HBOT is an outpatient treatment that supplies 100% Oxygen to patients in a pressurized chamber. Chambers can be single-person, where the patient lays down in a tube similar to that of an MRI machine, or can be multi-person, where patients sit in a large chamber of reclining chairs. During the procedure, patients wear an Oxygen mask or hood. For ten minutes the chamber is slowly pressurized. It then remains pressurized at a level greater than sea level for 90 minutes and is depressurized for an additional ten minutes. The process allows the body to absorb three times as much Oxygen than breathing normal air.
For sicknesses such as the bends, the volume of nitrogen air bubbles in the blood vessels are drastically reduced and new blood vessels are formed. These newly oxygenated blood vessels increase the flow of plasma, which transfers red and white blood cells to fight infections. Depending on the severity of the illness being treated, there can be anywhere from one to three or between 20 and 40 sessions. HBOT is an approved treatment for some of the following sicknesses:
– Slow healing wounds
– Altitude sickness
– Carbon Monoxide poisoning
– Gas gangrene
– Skin grafts
– Radiation injury as a result of cancer therapies
– Some brain and sinus infections
– Reducing amputation risk from diabetic foot ulcers
Divers aside, we’ll explore three especially unique kinds of patients who benefit from the healing powers of Oxygen.
1. Professional Athletes
It’s common for professional athletes to keep up on medical trends to enhance their performance. Athletes have been using cryosaunas to improve endurance but have also been known to use HBOT to reverse muscle fatigue before game day. After sports related injuries, HBOT reduces inflammation and can cut healing time in half. Increased Oxygen to the brain also enhances brain function, which can help athletes make quicker decisions during a game.
Professional football, hockey, basketball and soccer players often rent personal HBOT chambers to benefit from the healing powers of Oxygen. The soft-shelled chambers are portable, resembling sleeping bags. Since personal rentals can be quite costly, sports teams could look into going in on a chamber together.
2. Nursing Homes Patients
HBOT is booming in the nursing home sector of the medical industry; chambers are being installed at facilities to improve the quality of life of elderly patients. Bed and pressure sores are caused by constant pressure when patients are laying in the same position for too long. Chronic wounds and infections, particularly with diabetics and those with poor circulation, can greatly disturb everyday life, but an hour or so of HBOT multiple times a week can yield a faster recovery.
Although HBOT has not been approved as a viable treatment for many cases, it has been considered an adjunct therapy for the following ailments that are also frequent among the elderly:
– Alzheimer’s disease
– Parkinson’s disease
– Heart disease
3. High Dollar Horses
Humans aren’t the only mammals that reap the benefits of HBOT. Chambers exists for high-dollar breeding and race horses under the following circumstances:
– Bone infection
– Post-surgical recovery
– Connective tissue injuries
– Skin and muscle tissue wounds
– Anemia and blood loss
Laminitis is inflammation of the tissue in a horse’s hoof. Laminitis causes the tissues in the hoof to swell and eventually die. Since HBOT creates new blood vessels and transfers more red and white blood cells to where the body needs it, the therapy reduces inflammation, reversing the effects of the disease.
HBOT also treats multiple aspects of the breeding process. It provides relief for mares after giving birth, helping the uterus return to a normal shape and size at a faster pace. Foals benefit from HBOT as well. Dummy Foal Syndrome is the sign of abnormal neurological symptoms like seizures, hypersensitivity, circling and trouble nursing after birth. By absorbing 100% Oxygen in the pressurized chamber, brain function can increase drastically, reducing and even eliminating these symptoms.
Horse-sized chambers are built to hold between one to three horses, some are even large enough for the animals to walk around. Horses usually aren’t hesitant to enter the chamber. In fact, the therapy has even been known to soothe them to sleep. The majority of HBOT for horses is happening in none other than Kentucky, but there are also rehabilitation facilities in California, Colorado, Texas and Tennessee that offer these treatments.
Serving the Medical Industry with Flawless Dependability
Whether you need bulk medical Oxygen for a nursing home, horse rehabilitation facility or a large medical hospital, Rocky Mountain Air can serve you. Depending on the size of your facility space, RMA offers high-pressure cylinders, cryogenic liquid cylinders or cryogenic bulk tanks that will align with your monthly gas usage.
Need a supply of medical Oxygen, but aren’t sure of the volume? Our cryogenics experts have the knowledge to size a bulk tank large enough to pull the amount of product you need, while counteracting pressure and heat rise, and preventing significant gas losses that could cost your business additional money. We promise to serve our customers with flawless dependability, which starts with addressing your needs and creating a system with a product you can trust for your Hyperbaric application.
Contact your local RMA location today in any one of our five states (Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska) to learn more about how we can help you supply your Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy system. We look forward to serving you.