Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Helping tool for increasing the efficiency of white blood cells fighting cancer cells
Development of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is treatment with high-pressure oxygen for respiration with high volumes of pure oxygen in a Hyperbaric Chamber.
HBOT is a concept of treating patients with respiratory problems. Oxygen therapy has been in existence for centuries, but those more popular is the treatment by high-pressure oxygen. This treatment starts from Decompression Syndrome, a group of symptoms of the unusual release of gases and bubbles of gas-forming under pressure in the bloodstream.
For instance, divers diving deeply and then surfacing too rapidly make oxygen in blood cells come out of solution into gas bubbles. When there is a large number of air bubbles in blood vein, these bubbles can block the bloodstream in various organs such as the lungs, making it impossible to breathe, or the brain, causing a lack of consciousness, dizziness or paralysis. Thus, there is the treatment of Decompression Syndrome by placing patients in an oxygen chamber.
Then increasing the pressure in the chamber to make oxygen bubbles can redissolve in blood and tissues, and in the meantime, the pressure is adjusted so as not to form bubbles of oxygen.
HBOT for a range of treatments
HBOT has been used to treat various conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning and burning wound. The working mechanism of HBOT is concerned with pressure and directly stimulating oxygen at a cellular level, and is a mechanism causing oxidative stress in cells at a low level, stimulating cells to respond by generating enzymes to fight free radicals, to protect the body from toxic effects of free radicals.
Also, doctors have found that using high-pressure oxygen helps to increase the efficiency of blood circulation and the immune system, which has led it to be used to treat the wounds of diabetes patients, promoting better healing of wounds. It has also been used to treat deep wounds, such as pus in infected bones, which helps to improve the immune system and for wounds to heal well, especially infections causing necrosis, which is an indication for the use of HBOT.
According to medical studies, HBOT helps to increase the efficiency of treatment of patients with brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, cerebrovascular diseases and brain diseases from accidents. Studies of patients undergoing PET/CT scans after HBOT found that reviving brain cells helped patients to withstand pain better, so it is of benefit to patients with chronic pain, such as chronic muscle pain, migraines, backache and pain from cancer.
With regards to cancer, it is mentioned in the research literature that HBOT is not a primary treatment, but helps to promote a cellular environment for proper blood circulation and improved oxygen exchange. Thus, the cells can generate energy effectively, which is also a mechanism which inhibits the growth of cancer. For persons at risk of cancer, it helps to rectify and improve the cellular environment. HBOT, in tandem with other treatments such as immunotherapy using NK cells and immunotherapy with various nutrients, can strengthen the white blood cells to fight cancer cells better.
HBOT is also used in combination with other treatments besides those generally mentioned, such as sports injuries, stimulation of nerves controlling facial muscles, chronic anaemia, joint pain and inflammation, chronic muscle pain, chronic fatigue and lung conditions.
Hyperbaric Chambers are distinguished as follows
Multiple Hyperbaric Chamber is a chamber to treat several persons at the same time under the supervision of trained staff. This type mostly found at medical facilities where studying underwater medicine.
Monoplace Hyperbaric Chamber is a chamber for one person, and continuous communication with staff by telephone. This type can divide into (1) Hardshell chamber, in which pressure can be increased to 6 atmospheres, equivalent to diving to the depth of a whale's habitat, and (2) Flexible chamber using low pressure of 1.2-1.4 atmospheres, which can be found overseas in clinics as well as spas.
Treatment Procedure of HBOT
Once the patient is lying down in the Hyperbaric Chamber, the staff closes the door and connects the pressure equipment with the oxygenator level is ready to be adjusted. As the pressure increases, patients can feel as if they are in a plane descending to land, causing their ears pop or feeling pain. All patients receiving the therapy should learn to adjust the pressure in their ears before treatment.
Contraindications for HBOT
It should not be used for patients with respiratory problems, high fever, risk of uncontrollable seizure, air leakage in the lungs, asthma, emphysema, chronic heart failure and pregnancy.
Users of some drugs such as Bleomycin, Doxorubicin and Cisplatin