Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

In hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients breathe pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Patients are usually in the chamber for several hours and often require multiple treatments — sometimes as many as 30 or 40.

Hyperbaric therapy temporarily increases the body's capacity to carry oxygen and helps the body grow new blood vessels. This makes it easier for tissue to repair itself and respond to other medical care.

Healing for Chronic Wounds

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be a powerful treatment for wounds that don't get enough oxygen to heal. These wounds are often caused by radiation treatment for cancer, and by diabetes.

Monitoring Hyperbaric Patients

Overcoming Decompression Sickness

When scuba divers come to the surface too fast, they can develop nitrogen bubbles in their blood cells — a condition called decompression sickness or "the bends." These bubbles can cause strokes and other severe health problems. Hyperbaric treatment can reduce the size of these bubbles and help them exit blood cells.

Treatment for Persistent Infections

Some infections and diseases are caused by anaerobic bacteria that thrive in areas with little or no oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can kill these bacteria by exposing them to high oxygen levels.

Learn More About Hyperbaric Medicine at Virginia Mason

Virginia Mason's Center for Hyperbaric Medicine offers therapy for more than a dozen diseases and conditions. Learn more about the conditions we treat or make an appointment by calling (206) 583-6543.