Treatment at the Institute for Hyperbaric Medicine starts with an introductory visit with a doctor and the Institute’s staff. The visit is intended to examine the appropriateness of hyperbaric chamber therapy for the patient and to acquaint him/her with the Institute for Hyperbaric Medicine and the hyperbaric chamber.
For all diagnoses, hyperbaric chamber therapy is a long, continuous, and challenging treatment. However, it takes place in a comfortable environment and a state-of-the-art building with a skilled and patient medical team, and you will accompany and be accompanied by other patients throughout the entire treatment.
What is a hyperbaric chamber?
A hyperbaric chamber is a cylinder-shaped structure made of pressure-resistant materials, in which there are places for the patients and medical team to sit. Each seat has a specialized oxygen mask or transparent hood, as needed, through which 100% pure oxygen is breathed. Air with a pressure of 2-6 atmospheres is pumped into the chamber. For reference, we live in an environment with 1 atmosphere, 760 mmHg, of pressure. However, depending on the type of hyperbaric chamber, the pressure can be increased to 2-6 atmospheres, which is similar to the pressure a diver experiences at a depth of 10-50 meters. At Ichilov Hospital, the hyperbaric chamber reaches 3 atmospheres, with a variety of available elective and emergency treatments.
Standard hyperbaric chamber therapy consists of spending two continuous hours inside the chamber, at a pressure of 2 atmospheres, while switching between breathing 100% oxygen and room air.
What is medical treatment in a hyperbaric chamber and what is hyperbaric medicine?
Hyperbaric chamber treatment increases the amount of oxygen in the blood and tissues of the body due to the mechanism of action of hyperbaric oxygen, which is oxygen with a high atmospheric pressure. This mechanism encourages the production of new cells and the flow of oxygen to hypoxic areas, facilitating wound healing and promoting activity in tissues that are not oxygen-rich.
What effects does hyperbaric chamber therapy have?
When we breathe in oxygen, it enters our lungs and is absorbed into the blood. Normally, the oxygen is transported by the red blood cells and the hemoglobin. The enriched oxygen that is breathed in the hyperbaric chamber becomes dissolved in the blood in large quantities and reaches the sick tissues with a high concentration of about 1,200%. This process accelerates the physiological healing mechanisms of the body due to the proliferation of growth factors in the cells, and especially in the stem cells.
The benefits of enriched oxygen for the body’s tissues:
- Accelerates the healing process of complex wounds
- Accelerates the growth of skin tissue
- Aids in the recovery of small blood vessels
- Accelerates the formation of new bone tissue
- Reduces swelling and edema
- Reduces damage from various toxins such as smoke inhalation