Drass blog

What are the benefits of HBOT?

Published at Apr 10, 2018 4:46:55 PM

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is based on the administration of pressurized pure oxygen or oxygen-enriched gas mixtures breathed through an oral-nasal mask.

Do you know the benefits of the HBOT? Let's find out together with this post. Happy reading!

foto 10


In this post, we'll cover:
  • What are the benefits?    
  • What are the effects of pressurization on the circulatory system?                
  • What are the effects of HBOT?       
  • How often is HBO administered?       


What are the benefits?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is based on the administration of pressurized pure oxygen or oxygen-enriched gas mixtures breathed through an oral-nasal mask.

The oxygen in the chamber is brought to a pressure greater than normal atmospheric pressure, playing a fundamental role in the HBOT by producing highly positive effects to the human organism.

For example, HBOT reduces infection and dead cells by maintaining tissue viability, stimulating vascularization and promoting the growth of new blood vessels.


What are the Effects of Pressurization on the Circulatory System?


  • reduces the risk of embolism by dissolving gas into the blood
  • increases the diffusion gradient of O2 in the blood, easing the subsequent diffusion of O2 in the tissues

At normal atmospheric pressure, dissolved fractions of oxygen are small, but total pressure increases the ability of the plasma to dissolve O2. In normal conditions, oxygen must first be bonded with haemoglobin in order to be transported to the tissues.

Remarkably, in hyperbaric conditions, oxygen dissolved in plasma results in oxygen transport and tissue survival without the need for haemoglobin. As the body’s oxygen-carrying capacity rapidly increases, this mechanism can be exploited in the situation of tissue hypoxia, because it provides immediate help to ischemic and compromised tissue even where the is marginal or no blood flow.

In addition to the possibility of increasing diffusion gradient of O2, the hyperbaric environment allows the reduction of all gas volumes, thereby relieving pressure from ileus, bloat, intraluminal gas accumulation, perioperative gastrointestinal obstruction, gas gangrene, urinary bladder tissues and subcutaneous emphysema.

This is in accordance with Boyle’s law (Pressure · Volume = Constant). The decrease in pressure from gas in tissues or cavities results in less injury from vascular compromise, and decreased bacterial translocation, necrosis, pain and swelling.


What are the effects of HBOT?

The effects of HBOT are based on the gas laws and the physiological and biochemical effects of hyperoxia, which is caused by pressure higher than normal atmospheric pressure (1 ATA) and inhalation of 100% oxygen through a mask.

In case of infection, oedema, wounds and disease, the area is hypoxic and therefore the tissue has a higher demand for oxygen. The restoration of these compromised areas is only possible through tissue oxygenation. This is a natural consequence of Henry’s law which states that the amount of gas dissolved in a liquid or tissue is proportional to the partial pressure of the gas in contact with liquid or tissue.

The delivery of 100% oxygen under pressure allows plasma to carry much more oxygen and reduces the importance of haemoglobin-based delivery. In this way, the restoration of normal oxygenation to the tissue is possible, with other positive effects such as growth of new vessels, improving blood flow and decreasing bleeding.  Microvascular blood flow is improved with HBOT thanks to increased plasma oxygen carriage.

Another secondary effect, but no less important, is the bactericidal activities due to the generation of oxygen free-radicals which oxidise proteins and membrane lipids and inhibit bacterial metabolic function. HBOT is particularly effective against several anaerobes which lack enzymes that can deactivate free-radicals because a high pressure of oxygen kills anaerobic microorganisms. Finally, HBOT limits post-ischaemic reduction in ATP production, and decreases lactate accumulation in ischemic tissue.


How often HBOT is administrated

The frequency of administering HBOT depends on the type of use and clinical condition that is being treated.
Generally, for the treatment of emergency conditions such as decompression illness, the clinical protocol consists in one treatment lasting several hours. Sometimes a series of successive treatments are necessary to stabilize the clinical picture of the patients and until all symptoms have disappeared. The therapeutic protocol is based on Table 6 US Navy or Comex CX30 Decompression Tables:


grafico 1

grafico 2


For treatment of other clinical indications or chronic conditions (such as radionecrosis, radiation injuries, or arterial occlusion of the retina), the number of sessions can vary according to the specific diagnosis/ therapeutic protocol as well as the decision of the physician, and it can vary depending on country, hospital or private clinic. Typically, patients are prescribed a course of 30-40 treatment sessions, one treatment per day on consecutive days where possible.

Prescribed courses usually consist of a minimum of 10 treatment sessions, and a maximum of 60 sessions.

Argomenti: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Do you have any comments or suggestions? Write us!

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates!