Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in Virginia

HCA Virginia is proud to provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a unique treatment option for healing wounds and other medical conditions. As part of this comprehensive care, our physicians, certified wound care nurses and clinical hyperbaric managers are specially trained in wound management and hyperbaric medicine. Our goal is to provide you with the advanced care you need to heal and restore your quality of life.

For more information about hyperbaric oxygen therapy or for help finding a wound care specialist, call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse® line.

What is HBOT?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an advanced type of wound care treatment. It involves breathing pure oxygen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. This treatment can be administered in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

What is a hyperbaric chamber?

Used to administer HBOT, the hyperbaric chamber is a sealed, pressurized environment. As you breathe the pure oxygen within the chamber, oxygen is pushed into your blood plasma. The increased amount of oxygen in your blood stimulates blood vessel growth in damaged tissues and helps fight some types of infection.

What conditions are treated with hyperbaric medicine?

HBOT is used to treat several medical conditions, including:

  • Arterial gas embolism (bubbles of air in your blood vessels)
  • Brain abscesses
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injuries
  • Decompression sickness
  • Gangrene
  • Non-healing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcers
  • Radiation injuries
  • Scuba diving accidents
  • Severe anemia
  • Severe burns
  • Skin grafts at risk of tissue death
  • Skin or bone infections that cause tissue death
  • Sudden and painless vision loss
  • Sudden deafness

What is decompression sickness?

Decompression sickness (DCS) occurs when the body is exposed to sudden changes in altitude or air pressure. These changes cause gas bubbles to form, which block the flow of blood.

Events which may cause DCS include:

  • A fast ascent into a high altitude from a low altitude
  • A long dive or multiple dives in one day
  • A sudden exit from a high pressure or hyperbaric chamber
  • Diving in extremely cold water without proper protective gear
  • Flying after diving
  • Rising too quickly to the surface from deep-sea scuba diving

Symptoms of DCS can include a headache, rash, itchy skin, nausea, joint pain and swelling. If you experience any symptoms of DCS, immediate treatment is extremely important, as this condition can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Side effects of HBOT

Most patients experience no pain or discomfort during or after HBOT. You may feel fullness in your ears similar to what you experience during an airplane flight. Your doctor will discuss the possible side effects of HBOT with you before you receive treatment.

Where can I receive HBOT treatment?

HCA Virginia patients can receive hyperbaric therapy at three locations: