The goal of this blog is to enlighten the reader who may or may not have exposure to this powerful treatment.
A lot of preconceptions and misconceptions are held concerning hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It is my hope to explain things in a manner that adds clarity to this powerful therapeutic offering.
The air most people we breathe, is a mixture of 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. Under normal atmospheric pressure approximately 160 mmHg is the amount of oxygen than is available to enter the lungs to be dissolved into blood for transport to the tissues.
Every cell in our body uses oxygen to metabolize (build, destroy and maintain). Oxygen is an essential metabolic component that is used in over 5,000 unique pathways in the body.
The normal method by which oxygen is carried to the tissues and cells of the body is via the blood. Approximately 97% of oxygen is attached to heme to form a protein Hemoglobin. The additional 3% is dissolved into solution or the fluid component of the blood.
In a hyperbaric oxygen treatment, the mixture of gas breathed by patients is changed so that the patient breathes 100% oxygen at intervals. This change in the fraction of inspired oxygen permits approximately 700 mmHg of oxygen to enter the lung. By increasing the atmospheric pressure approximately 20 times the normal amount of oxygen can be dissolved into the fluid component of the blood for delivery to tissues in critical need.