An ever growing population, coupled with stressful living patterns, fluctuating food habits, sleep deprivation, etc. are leading to increased levels of obesity in individuals.These factors are the primary cause of lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes and other related complications such as chronic wounds.
What are Chronic Wounds?
Chronic wound related afflictions are a major health concern for individuals suffering from diabetes, bone infections, venous stasis ulcer, radiation related skin afflictions, etc. and is known to affect 6.7 million individuals in the United States, annually.
The primary cause of chronic wounds is the lack of blood circulation causing hypoxia in the injured areas of the body. This dearth of blood supply results in tissue degeneration and if left untreated can turn into septicemia and further spread through the entire body.
Any delay in treating this ailment can lead to amputation of limbs and result in life threatening consequences for the patient as studies predict a mortality rate of around five years for the amputees.
The above mentioned statistics are expected to increase at an approximate annual rate of two percent in the next ten years and pose a serious medical threat. In recent times, medical professionals across the nation are increasingly recommending HBOT Therapy or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as a treatment solution for chronic wound relief.
What is HBOT Therapy and how is it Administered?
HBOT Therapy or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a procedure wherein the patient undergoes a comprehensive medical evaluation by a qualified hyperbaric expert and is thereon prescribed the requisite duration of treatment depending on the severity of the medical condition.
On commencement of the hyperbaric treatment, the patient is placed in a pressurized chamber that comes fully equipped with a comfortable bed and a sealed clear glass window. The hyperbaric chamber is airconditioned and the patient can carry a book or watch television through the glass window for entertainment purpose. All these facets instill a sense of calm and ensure that the patient is in a relaxed state during the therapy.
Thereafter, the patient is administered pure oxygen at atmospheric pressures that are three times more than the normal level and can range from 1.2 atm to 5 atm as per the prescribed dosage. The HBOT Therapy can last between 60 – 90 minutes per session, with approximately 3 – 4 sessions per week, spread over a 2 – 3 month period.
HBOT Therapy has to be administered under medical supervision either at large medical facilities or through portable hyperbaric chambers that can be installed in the homes of the patients. This therapy does not require overnight hospitalization.
How Does Hbot Therapy Provide Chronic Wound Relief?
During a HBOT Therapy session, the enhanced levels of oxygen administered to the patient boosts the blood supply to all the oxygen deprived parts of the human body.
As oxygen is known to be a natural healer, this procedure is believed to spurt the white blood cell activity, promoting stem cell growth, and accelerating the process of wound healing. Prescription of regular sessions of HBOT therapy is known to significantly improve immunity levels in the patient and support in fighting bacterial skin infections in an effective manner.
Hyperbaric experts have observed remarkable improvements in patients with diabetes related chronic wounds like foot ulcers, radiation wounds, venous and aterial ulcers after prescribing six weeks of successive HBOT Therapy sessions.
As per a report published in the Internal Journal of Academic Physician Assistants in 2008, a team from the King’s College Physician Assistant Program conducted a research to delve into the advantages of HBOT for treating non-healing chronic wounds through four designated studies. However, the results from this research did not provide much clarity on the subject.
After a gap of four years, one more study was conducted in 2012 by the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research wherein the effects of HBOT Therapy was administered on a test group of thirty individuals with chronic wounds. There were other groups that were prescribed conventional treatment options. After administering both the treatment plans for a period of thirty days, the test group that underwent HBOT witnessed a 59% reduction in their wounds whilst the groups that were prescribed the conventional treatment plan experienced a 26% escalation in their chronic wound condition. This research report was subsequently featured in the Journal of Anaesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology.
All these positive factors have prompted hyperbaric professionals across the United States to form an opinion that HBOT therapy reduces the risk of limb amputation to a considerable extent and can be prescribed as an effective treatment solution to treat most chronic wound related ailments in future.