Possible Complications of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Prior to your Hyperbaric Consultation and Orientation treatment, Please print out this out and discuss with your treating Physician. Please request your medical records.
Doxorubicin (Adrianmycin) is cleared from the body in three days, it is best to wait three days before starting HBOT.
Bleomycin: Pre treatment pulmonary function testing with carbon monoxide diffusion capacity
Cis-platinum: a chemotherapy agent
Patent Foramen Ovale:
Please inform us of diabetic or hypoglycemic clients.
- Reduction in insulin may be required during HBOT. Monitoring is required.
- Hypoglycemic clients will require blood monitoring and proper diet.
Disulfiram (Antabuse) Known to block S.O.D., No known effects in been reported in clients whom were treated with HBOT for CO poisoning.
Emphysema with CO2 Retention (COPD)
Pregnancy (emergency only)
High Fevers (uncontrolled)
Difficulty in clearing the ears causes "popping" and can cause pain. Middle ear barotrauma is the most common side effect of HBOT therapy. It is prevented in most clients by teaching the auto inflation maneuver or by use of tympanotomy tubes for those who cannot auto inflates. This rarely is a problem.
Sinus Pain, Upper Respiratory Infections and Chronic Sinusitis
Sinus squeeze is seen less frequently than middle ear barotraumas Antihistamines, decongestants, and/or nasal spray may be given. Temporary the treatment could be postponed. With slow compression and decompression usually there are no problems.
Myopia and Cataract
Myopia is a reversible complication of repeated exposure to HBOT. Even when progressive myopia does occur during a series of HBOT therapies, after treatment the visual acuity changes reverse completely. Acceleration of growth in existing cataracts is a complication of chronic long-term exposure at pressures over 2 ATA. Published reports as well as extensive clinical experience indicate that new cataracts do not develop with in the series of 30 to 50 therapies that are commonly used in the USA.
Pulmonary and neurological manifestations of oxygen poisoning are often cited as major concerns with HBOT. Oxygen tolerance limits that avoid these manifestations are well defined for continuous exposures in normal people. Pulmonary symptoms are not produced by daily exposures to oxygen at 2.0 or 2.4 ATA for 2.0 or 1.5 hours respectively. The incidence of oxygen convulsions when using similar exposures is about 1 per 10,000 patient therapies. Even when oxygen convulsions do occur, there are no residual effects if mechanical trauma can be avoided. Pulmonary barotrauma during decompression may rarely occur. Patients with airway obstruction have an increased risk for pulmonary barotrauma during decompression. Patients must be cautioned against breath holding during decompression. All Patients will attend a private Orientation session accompanied by a CHT or a R.N.
The only absolute contraindication for HBOT is untreated pneumothorax.
Surgical relief of the pneumothorax before HBOT session, if possible removes the obstacle to treatment.
Chest x-ray may be necessary to rule out pneumothorax, if patientís medical history includes:
- History of spontaneous pneumothorax
- History of thoracic surgery
- History of chest injury
Pneumothorax is a complication, which can be caused by breath holding during decompression. All safety aspects of Hyperbaric Oxygen are fully explained during the orientation session.
Incidence of seizures is reported in 0.01% of 28,700 treatments and never has been reported at less than 2.0 ATA for less than one hour.
Reference; Davis (1989) reviewed 1505 clients who were treated between 1979 and 1987 and underwent 52,758 two-hour sessions. Oxygen Convulsions occurred in only five clients,(0.009%) all of whom fully recovered.
Claustrophobia, which appears to be present in about 2% of the general population, may cause some degree of confinement anxiety. (However, our chambers are very large and not claustrophobic. It offers maximum comfort, particularly for anxious, claustrophobic, oversized, and pediatric clients.
All dental work, root canals, and fillings must be complete. (Dental baro-trauma is otherwise a possibility.) No temporary dental caps or unfinished root canals.
We would be happy to discuss this with you and your dentist.
All implanted devices must be able to undergo pressure. We will contact the manufacture of the device and obtain information.
Flying or Diving
No flying or diving is permitted within 24 hours of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Generally speaking, no serious complications are associated with moderate pressure Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, but some complications may be related to the primary disease treated. Our Private Orientation of both patient and caretakers provides the very best care for you and your family. Safe, Productive, Gentle, and Private Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, is our goal for our clients.
Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine, K.K. Jain, M.D., Vol. 1, 2, 3
Hyperbaric Medicine Practice, Eric Kindwall, M.D.
Care of the Patient Receiving Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy,
Manual of Patient Care Standards. 1988. Norkool, D.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: A Committee Report 1999. UHMS
Fitness to Dive. DAN (Divers Alert Network)
UHMS (Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine Society)
IHMA (International Hyperbaric Medicine Association)
IBUM (International Board of Undersea Medicine)
National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology