Intermountain Healthcare

What is Hyperbaric medicine treatment and how can it help?

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After a rigorous survey process from the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, the Hyperbaric Medicine Centers at Intermountain Healthcare’s LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and Intermountain Medical Center in Murray have been reaccredited with distinction.  

Reaccreditation means that the Intermountain hyperbaric medicine centers continue to meet the high standards and excellence of care that are required for accreditation and certification.  

Intermountain’s hyperbaric medicine service offers specialized treatment to patients with chronic wounds, tissue damage from radiation, and certain infections, as well as for emergency conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning, diving accidents, and gas embolism.   

Intermountain effective treatment methods can speed up the wound healing process and greatly decrease the risk of infection and complications. Our team-based approach brings together specialists and nurses trained in all aspects of wound management leading to faster healing.     

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?  

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is breathing 100 percent oxygen at pressure two or three times greater than the atmospheric pressure at sea level. This dissolves more oxygen in the bloodstream and delivers it to every part of the body. Hyperbaric oxygen helps the healing process by stimulation blood vessel growth and enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight infection.   

Hyperbaric oxygen may be the primary treatment for some disorders but is more often used as part of a comprehensive plan of care involving antibiotics and surgery. Providers work closely with each patient’s current team of care providers to monitor their progress.   

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is delivered in a special clear cylinder or room, called a chamber. This can be a single-person chamber filled with100% oxygen. Or it can be a room-size chamber for several people who can breathe 100% oxygen through a hood or mask. Both treatments are equally effective.  

What Does Hyperbaric Therapy Do?  

Getting 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber greatly increases the amount of oxygen delivered to body tissues by the blood. This helps the healing process by making blood vessels grow and helping the immune system fight infection.  

Your specific condition and your response to treatment will determine how often you need treatment and how many treatments you need. Some conditions need only a few hyperbaric treatments, but most need 30 to 60 treatments.  

Hyperbaric oxygen may be the primary treatment for some problems, but it is more often used as part of a larger plan of care. This could involve antibiotics and surgery. The hyperbaric team will work closely with your current team of care providers.  

Who Does it Help?  

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is best known for treating injured SCUBA divers, but it is also used to treat:  
    • Problem wounds, including some diabetic wounds, skin grafts, crush injuries, and wounds due to other circulation problems  
    • Radiation-damaged tissue (such as bowel, bladder, skin, and bone)  
    • Certain infections, such as gas gangrene, bacterial and fungal infections, and bone infections  
    • Carbon monoxide poisoning  
    • An air bubble in a blood vessel  
    • Sudden, painless vision loss in one eye  
    • Sudden loss of hearing in one ear  

The physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, and technicians at the Intermountain Hyperbaric Medicine Centers have been involved in numerous research studies over the years that have helped shaped hyperbaric oxygen therapy across the globe. The research has included examining the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, hyperbaric oxygen in brain injury, and equipment testing and benchmarking in the hyperbaric environment.

For Intermountain Hyperbaric Medicine Services, call (801) 408-3623 if you’d like more information about Intermountain Healthcare, visit their website.

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