Hyperbaric medicine is also referred to as hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric medicine is the medical use of oxygen at a higher pressure level than our atmosphere.
Ordinarily, the air we breathe is made up of 21 percent oxygen. Hyperbaric medicine uses 100 percent oxygenated air at an elevated ambient pressure to treat a variety of conditions.
By breathing 100 percent oxygen at elevated pressure, 20 times more oxygen travels through the body's bloodstream to injured organs and tissue. This causes accelerated healing and other beneficial effects.
The Hyperbaric Chamber
A hyperbaric chamber is necessary to adjust the ambient pressure required for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. At normal sea level pressure, breathing 100 percent oxygen will not achieve healing results. Our state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers allow us to safely and effectively deliver 100 percent oxygen at increased pressures.
Conditions Treated with Hyperbaric Medicine
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat tissue damage caused by many chronic, non-healing conditions such as:
- Radiation injury (caused by radiation therapy)
- Bone infection
- Skin wounds
- Compromised skin flaps and grafts
- Diabetic foot and leg wounds
Penn's hyperbaric medicine physicians work together with a patient's referring physician to determine the best treatment plan possible.
Penn Wound Care Center
Each year, six million people in the United States seek treatment for an acute or chronic wound. Penn Hyperbaric Medicine works closely with the Penn Wound Care Center as part of an overall treatment plan that provides patients with the most advanced wound treatment and therapies available.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is delivered in a hyperbaric chamber. Penn has a walk-in, multiplace chamber, which helps dispel feelings of claustrophobia and isolation, often associated with single patient chambers.
Emergency hyperbaric medicine therapy is available at Penn Medicine every day, at any hour.