The following indications are approved by the UHMS (Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society) and are generally reimbursable should the patient meet specific criteria. Note, these indications are approved for clinical applications greater than 1.4 ATA and the majority of standard protocols call for 100% oxygen and pressures greater than 2.0 ATA. Although mild hyperbaric chambers may potentially play a role in the healing and recuperation from these conditions, the use of a portable chamber is not approved and not covered by insurance under current guidelines. On the contrary, some of these indications in the acute phase absolutely require deep hyperbaric application. Mild hyperbaric will be ineffective at reducing bubble size to treat an Air or Gas Embolism or a diver who has just recently surfaced and developed Decompression Sickness. Note: Always consult your primary care physician before beginning any hyperbaric protocol.
The "Famous 13" Indications:
Air or Gas Embolism
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Smoke Inhalation
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Complicated by Cyanide Poisoning
Clostridial Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome, and other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
Decompression Sickness (the "Bends")
Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds
Exceptional Blood Loss (Anemia)
Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
Radiation Tissue Damage (Osteoradionecrosis)
Skin Grafts and Flaps (Compromised)
Off Label Indications:
Also referred to as "Experimental
" or "Investigational
" applications. Off-label indications simply refer to any unapproved condition in which hyperbaric may be applied; either as primary or adjunctive therapy. Although the above terms seem to take merit away from such applications; the reader should know and understand these terms are applied to all "drugs" when utilized for any condition other than their FDA approval. Many of the following conditions have decades of history and copious amounts of supportive data and clinical research. Further, many of these conditions would never be labeled internationally as experimental. For example; in the UK, Multiple Sclerosis treatment centers have been using HBOT in the treatment of the disease for over two decades with great success.
Two components of great consideration in medicine should always be prevention and maintenance. Some of the below conditions may actually be prevenatable with very low pressure application. In other circumstance, pressure applications less than 1.75 ATA may be a suitable dosage as lifelong maintenance to prevent the reoccurrence of symptoms. If we are to ever move beyond our current crux in medical thinking we must not only see something for curative benefit, but must also realize potential treatment benefit. Currently it is understood that conditions such as AIDS. However, this does not mean they are not manageable, nor that the patient may not live a symptom free lifestyle. Other conditions such as Sickle Cell Anemia are genetic, requiring a lifetime of management and prevention of secondary conditions. Hyperbaric will do nothing to address the production of sickle shaped blood cells, but it will help to supply compromised tissues with much needed oxygen.
Regardless of the condition, we must always remember and factor in the individual. Any treatment which can benefit the overall health of an individual will allow the individuals natural healing systems to work at their greatest capacity. Low pressure hyperbaric therapies such as "mild" hyperbaric may have a place in many conditions simply because of "Factor I"; benefit the individual, aid the course of recovery. Mild hyperbaric has been shown beneficial in many areas of wellness and anti-aging. Therefore, it should be no stretch of the imagination to see its potential in many of the conditions below.
A Note About Discrimination: Some conditions have shown to favor lower pressure treatments of 1.5 ATA and below. In fact, research has demonstrated that too high of pressure can actually be counter-productive in the treatment of certain neurological conditions. Yes, too much of a good thing can become problematic. Just as a mild hyperbaric chamber has no business in the treatment of certain life-threatening condtions, there may be little place for high-pressure treatments in others. Of course, always consult your primary care physician before beginning any hyperbaric protocol.
Off Label & Experimental Conditions:
Acute Acoustic Trauma
Acute and Chronic Anemia
Acute and Chronic Arterial Insufficiency
ALS "lou Gehrig's Disease"
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Candidas and Fungal Infections
Chemical Poisoning (e.g. Pesticide)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Closed head injury
Epilepsy due to Hypoxia
Flesh Eating Bacteria
Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers
Heart attack, Myocardial Ischemia
& Aid to Cardiac Surgery and Rehabilitation
Hypoxic Birth Disorders
Peripheral nerve injury and neuropathies, demyelination
Peripheral Vascular Disorders
Post surgical instability
Silicone Induced Disorders
Spinal Cord injury
Surgery Healing, Pre and Post, Reconstruction and Cosmetic Surgery
Post surgical soft tissue infections
Traumatic Brain Injury
Wound Healing, Recurrent Ulcers and Infections