How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) work?
HBOT is a treatment where a patient breaths near 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized environment greater than sea level atmospheric pressure. All mammals’ cells rely on oxygen to function properly. When an event occurs that causes the blood vessels that carry oxygenated red blood cells throughout the body to be blocked or damaged (ischemia), the results can be severe. With HBOT, oxygen diffuses through tissues even when blood supply to the area is significantly compromised. When there are constricted or compromised vessels, plasma tends to flow through more readily than red blood cells. When plasma is exposed to hyperbaric oxygen it can carry up to 20 times more oxygen to tissues alone without the red blood cells being involved. Therefore, small compromised capillaries can deliver oxygen to the tissues they supply even when only plasma can pass through them. In summary, oxygen delivered by HBOT can make the difference between cell death or cell recovery.
What conditions are HBOT used for?
There are currently 15 conditions approved by CMS (Medicare) for HBOT. The use of HBOT in these conditions has been proven to be very effective. Many of these conditions, as well as many others, have been shown to also benefit veterinary patients. To see a list of some of these conditions, please click the link and scroll down on the page. HBOT Conditions
Do pet insurance companies cover HBOT?
Many insurance policies will cover HBOT if recommended by a veterinarian for treatments of most injuries or illness. It is always a good idea to verify coverage with the insurance carrier in advance.
Is HBOT Safe?
Pan-America Hyperbaric chambers are designed and manufactured according to American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) and National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) codes. They also meet and/or exceed international regulations and standards as well. HBOT is to be administered under close medical supervision by trained staff. Although there are potentially minor risks involved, just like all medical treatments, when administered correctly, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is extremely safe.
What is a typical treatment like?
The patient is comfortably placed into the chamber at a desired pressure and specified length of time according to the protocol recommended by the veterinarian. A typical treatment ranges from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Most patients appear calm and relaxed throughout the duration of treatment. The total number of treatments required varies according to the condition being treated and the patient’s response.
Are there any side effects?
Like any and every medical treatment, side effects are possible. Although very rare, side effects such as barotrauma or seizures caused by oxygen toxicity and others have been reported.
How much does a HBOT cost?
Nationally, the approximate cost for HBOT is $125 per treatment.
In addition to a hyperbaric chamber, what is needed to setup HBOT?
The PAHi team will gladly provide the specific requirements and assist each facility in the setup process. The main items required include: oxygen supply, exhaust, sufficient space to house the chamber, training on all aspects of hyperbarics and grounding installed by a licensed electrician.