Oxygen therapy simply means increasing the concentration of just the same oxygen we breathe normally in air. A hyperbaric chamber is needed to allow the pressure around the body to be increased. We all live under the pressure of the atmosphere and the extra pressure required for this treatment is small. The technology is very well established – all commercial aircraft are hyperbaric chambers equipped with oxygen breathing systems!
Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy has a hundred year history, but doctors have only recently recognised that even when the level of oxygen in the blood is normal there can be a severe deficiency in the tissues. Now that the science is understood this use of oxygen is expanding rapidly around the world.
The air that we breathe usually provides enough oxygen for both normal body metabolism and the repair of tissue damaged after injury or illness. However, tissue damage or disease also involves the blood vessels within the tissue and may reduce blood flow. So, just when more oxygen is needed, the supply is reduced and recovery may be limited or even prevented. By increasing the concentration of oxygen in the blood more can be delivered to damaged tissue to establish normal oxygen values and so allow recovery to take place.
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