What is a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber?
A Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber is a pressurized vessel used to administer oxygen at elevated pressure. There are basically 2 types of chambers - monoplace and multiplace (Soft chambers are covered below.). The main differences are chamber size, number of occupants, and how the oxygen is delivered. Monoplace chambers are single-person chambers pressurized with 100% oxygen from which the patient breathes directly. Multiplace chambers are designed to hold two or more persons. Multiplace chambers are pressurized with compressed air while patients breathe 100% oxygen through a mask or hood.
What is the difference between hard and soft chambers?
Soft chambers are not as effective for most indications. Soft chambers are only FDA approved for altitude sickness. Our hard-shell chambers are hospital grade chambers that are FDA approved for 15 reimbursable indications. Soft chambers are not approved for use with oxygen. If someone uses oxygen in a mild chamber it's typically only 30% to 40% with a maximum pressure of 1.3 Atmospheres. Some people illegally use oxygen and force the pressure to 1.5 ATA. Our chambers use 100% oxygen with up to 3ATA of pressure. Higher pressure and more oxygen are more therapeutic for many indications.
What type of chambers does Hyperbaric Wellness Center use?
We operate the Fortius 420 Hyperbaric Chamber, manufactured by Oxyhealth, for our therapy sessions. With its introduction of the Fortius 420 model, affectionately dubbed the "Baby Blue," OxyHealth continues to make hyperbaric medicine an accessible choice. This Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber provides an alternative modality for physicians to treat a broad range of hyperbaric indications - without the usual contraindications of pricey treatments and complicated operation. Our roomy chamber measures a generous three and one half feet wide by over seven feet long - plenty of room for two people to enter comfortably. Four viewing windows illuminate the chamber and allow for patient / provider interaction. Unlike many of the chambers on the market today, the Fortius 420 provides 100% oxygen at pressure to the patient, greatly increasing the effectiveness of the therapy session.
What does a treatment feel like?
While sitting or lying comfortably within the chamber, our patients watch DVDís, listen to music, or read a favorite magazine. Children can bring certain approved toys into the chamber. Typical treatment times last for 1 to 2 hours, beginning with a 10 minute pressurization phase and ending with a 10 minute decompression phase. At the start of the treatment, some patients experience a sensation similar to that felt while flying and/or landing in an airplane. As pressure builds, it is common to feel pressure in the ears. At the end of the treatment, as the pressure is released, the ears "pop" automatically.
Oxygen is administered to the patient through a hood system. Since the entire chamber is not filled with oxygen, the risk of fire is cut down immensely. The hood system also allows a caregiver or therapist to be in the chamber with the patient.