Hyperbaric oxygen therapy & burns

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US comedian, TV host and classic car enthusiast Jay Leno, 72, suffered serious burns recently when a vintage 1907 steam engine he was working on in his garage exploded in his face. He had sessions in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) chamber after extensive skin grafts to his hands and arms. Dr. Peter H Grossman from the Grossman Burns Centre in Los Angeles said that Leno was in good condition after HBOT and was back driving 10 days later. “It helps decrease swelling, it helps increase blood flow with good oxygenation and it helps decrease bacteria,” Grossman said.

In 1965, HBOT therapy treated a group of coal miners for carbon monoxide poisoning after an accident. At the same time, physicians noted that the miner’s second-degree burns were healing quicker than those not treated with HBOT. This led to more and more trials being carried out for burns over the years.

HBOT has dramatic effects if given within the first 24 hours of a burn injury. It also reduces the chance of scarring and severe complications by as much as 80 percent. The addition of HBOT treatments to burn victims significantly reduces healing time.

Your skin is comprised of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue. The type of burn and its severity depends on how many of those three layers receive damage. Simple burns, such as minor sunburn, only affect the epidermis or outer layer. Serious burns damage the outer layer and penetrate deep into the other layers, causing damage to the skin and inner tissue. This causes swelling, scarring and often leads to infection.

The skin around these serious second or third degree burns becomes more hypoxic (oxygen deficient) than normal, so the lack of oxygen slows the healing process. This is where HBOT treatments become a great tool in the healing process. The use of HBOT promotes white blood cells which greatly reduces the burn victims’ chances of severe infection.

Used alongside traditional burn treatments, HBOT floods the body and damaged tissues with high levels of oxygen. This helps to reduce swelling and preserve damaged tissues. The oxygen carried in the plasma improves oxygenation where blood vessels have been constricted. This helps maintain the structural integrity of the skin’s connective tissue.

To find out how HBOT can help you, please contact one of our team on 01962 862111