The Science - Hyperbaric Centers of California
Oxygen Saturation Fights Infection – When the fluids and tissues within the body are saturated in oxygen, the body is no longer an ideal environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive and cause infection. HBOT directly kills anaerobes, enhances the ability of white blood cells to engulf and digest bacteria and fungi, and enhances the ability of amino glycoside antibiotics to function.
Increased Oxygen Levels – Through HBOT induced vasoconstriction and hyperoxygenation, the treatment simultaneously reduces edema and increases oxygenation. A patient’s tissues are hyperoxygenated by increasing the plasma oxygen concentration 10 – 15 times which allows the oxygen to provide immediate support to areas with compromised blood flow.
Mass Action of Gases – By immersing the patient’s tissues in oxygen while under pressure, toxic gases like carbon monoxide are forced out. This action reduces the damage done by toxic gases.
Vasoconstriction – HBOT causes vasoconstriction without depriving the injured tissue of oxygen. This action helps to manage intermediate compartment syndrome, reduce edema in grafted tissue, and reduce inflammation.
Neovascularization – As a delayed and indirect response to HBOT, neovascularization represents the growth of new blood vessels. The treatment creates the ideal conditions for new growth to occur because oxygen encourages collagen to form as the foundation for new blood vessels. Also, HBOT stimulates angiogenesis (new tissue growth) in late radiation-damaged tissue, refractory osteomyelitis, and chronic ulcerations in soft tissue.
Pressure Relationship – According to Boyle’s Law, pressure and gas are inversely related. As the pressure on the body increases, the volume of gas within the body decreases. This reaction allows otherwise trapped gas bubbles to circulate. At the very least, these bubbles are allowed to travel into a lesser blood vessel which minimizes damage.
Neurological Function – Recent scientific evidence has shown that HBOT stimulates blood flow, metabolism, and tissue growth in patients with brain injuries. The treatment reawakens dormant neurons that are alive but not functioning around the injured tissue.