A person who has suffered serious thermal burn injuries in major portions of his body might need to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help improve healing of his wounds. Once the patient is stabilized and the acute stages of burn treatment have been implemented, the option of oxygen therapy might be considered.
It should be noted, however, that this treatment modality might only be used for patients who have experienced first degree or second degree thermal burns. In these classifications of burn, the skin tissues are affected. Remember that this treatment method is used to introduce more oxygen into the body. In this case, the oxygen is introduced into the skin to help wound healing. On a burn injury of the third degree, aside from the skin, the fats, muscles and even the bones are affected. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy might not be able to do well for the injuries in these parts of the body.
This method is used in adjunct with other treatment measures. This might not be used as a stand-alone measure as it does not cover all of the potential injuries and needs of a burn patient. This is only necessary for the improvement of wound healing. Measures to avoid infections, maintain hydration and recover normal range of motion for affected extremities and body parts are still necessary.
When inside the chamber, the person is exposed to 100% oxygen which has a pressure that is about twice or thrice more than the atmosphere. The patient is instructed to breathe normally and relax inside the chamber.
Wound healing is supported because the white blood cells are activated in this high pressure environment. This is because they are receiving better oxygen supply.
The usual session of hyperbaric oxygen therapy lasts for about 30 to 90 minutes. The frequency may be depending on your doctor. However, most patients require daily treatments inside these chambers to facilitate wound healing as soon as possible. The length of treatment will also depend on your physician and on the severity of your thermal burn wounds.
Non-complicated first degree burns like sunburns may benefit from this treatment. You may just walk in into a clinic that offers this procedure and you can just walk out afterwards. There is no need for all of the patients undergoing this procedure to the hospitalized. Also, there may be no preparations prior to this procedure. However, to be sure, ask the particular clinic or health agency you are planning to have your hyperbaric oxygen therapy done.
It might require several sessions before hyperbaric oxygen therapy can take its full effect. Your physician will determine how many you will need and when you need to get them. Some physical effects might be felt immediately after the procedure, though.
There may be complications to this procedure. However, it might be important to note that these complications are quite rare. Nonetheless, you have to take whatever precautions you are instructed to take. A very common side effect is the feeling of lightheadedness after the procedure. This might disappear after a short while, though.