We work with patients on an inpatient and outpatient basis, by physician referral.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Memorial Hospital is used to heal wounds, preserve damaged tissues, treat carbon monoxide poisoning and more.
Our hyperbaric oxygen therapy program is accredited by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS). It’s the only hyperbaric medicine service available in southern Colorado.
As a UHMS-accredited facility, all treatment protocols are evidence-based. This means that there is substantial, documented research on the beneficial effects of this therapy for each medical condition we treat.
How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?
The medical profession has known for some time that providing 100% oxygen by face mask has certain benefits. The air we breathe contains 21% oxygen. By providing 100% pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, patients receive two to three times more oxygen than by inhaling oxygen through a mask. This hyperbaric (high pressure) dose of oxygen greatly increases the amount of oxygen the bloodstream can deliver to body tissues—and this offers distinct therapeutic benefits.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treats the following common and well-known conditions.
- Wounds and preserve damaged tissues. Some wounds are resistant to healing because they’re hypoxic (they don’t receive enough oxygen). Therefore, delivering increased oxygen to injured tissues can help control infections. Examples include chronic bone infection and diabetic wounds of the lower extremities.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy eliminates toxic substances (such as carbon monoxide) in the blood and reduces the effects of those toxic substances.
- Delayed radiation injuries. Some patients of radiation treatments (for example, for prostate cancer) may have bladder or colon problems because these organs are located in the radiated field. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps resolve these bladder and colon problems.
Depending on the condition, patients may need between 20 to 40 treatments, usually every day for several weeks. An exposure (time in the pressurized chamber) usually lasts about two hours.
Treatments are covered by Medicare and most insurance providers. Because the number of treatments vary, we work with insurance companies to pre-authorize treatments.