11116 Medical Campus Road Hagerstown, MD 21742 image spacer Office 301.790.8000 - TDD 1.800.735.2258
Patient Portal Button
Meritus Health

Hyperbaric Chamber

While extremely painful, chronic wounds of the feet are more than a pain issue. If not treated effectively, open wounds on the feet can become infected and even lead to amputation. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is increasingly being used to treat chronic foot wounds, other slow-healing wounds, and diseased tissues. The benefit of hyperbaric oxygen therapy comes from breathing 100% oxygen, resulting in an oxygen-enriched bloodstream.

While healthy individuals do not need or benefit from having an increased level of oxygen in their bodies, men and women who have had radiation therapy, who have diabetes, or who are affected by certain other medical conditions may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Some of the conditions that can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy are

  • a brown recluse spider bite;
  • a skin graft with a questionable blood supply;
  • tissue damaged by radiation therapy;
  • certain infections of the bone and skin; and
  • any wound that has shown no improvement in four weeks.

A treatment plan is tailored to each patient and the number of treatments will be based on your individual needs. Some cases require only a few treatments, while other wound-healing situations may require as many as twenty to forty treatments. In general, hyperbaric treatment is administered once a day, five days a week, and lasts about two hours (with ninety minutes of actual treatment time, as well as time to pressurize and depressurize the chamber). Treatments are most effective if done consecutively. Your faithful commitment to the treatment schedule is an important part of the healing process.

Your therapy will be supervised by a specially-trained physician, while a technician will always remain in the room with you and will monitor your treatments. Although family members may not remain with you during your treatment, you'll be able to converse with your technician at any time using a microphone in the chamber.

Hyperbaric therapy does require some special preparation. You should stop smoking for the entire course of your treatment. Use of tobacco products inhibits the delivery of blood and oxygen to your body tissues and may slow the healing process. Some medications may limit your body's response to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, so it is very important to give the Wound Center medical team a complete list of any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and herbal medications or supplements that you may be taking. Also notify your doctor if you develop a cold, sore throat, cough, fever, diarrhea, or any other illness. Illness may cause a temporary delay in your treatment schedule.

Personal items are not permitted in the hyperbaric chamber. This includes jewelry, dentures, partial plates, and hearing aids. You may be asked to remove your contact lenses as well, depending on which type you wear. Please do not wear makeup, nail polish, skin lotions, wigs or hair pieces, perfume/cologne/aftershave, hair styling products, or vaseline-based products. We'll provide you with a surgical gown during your treatment, and a storage area will be available for your clothing and other personal items. We recommend that you leave any valuable items at home.

11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
TDD: 1-800-735-2258
meritus Health
© 2017 Meritus Health. All Rights Reserved.