The following indications are medically approved and insurance will normally cover them when HBOT is delivered in a hospital setting.
Air or Gas Embolism
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Compromised Skin Grafts or Flaps
Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome
Decompression Sickness (Bends)
Diabetic & Other Non-healing Wounds
Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds
Exceptional Anemia: Resulting in Bleeding
Gas Gangrene Intracranial Abscess
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy may also be ordered by a physician for “off-label” indications.
We make no claims as to the efficacy for any indications other than the fourteen approved by FDA.
Venomous snake and spider bites
HYPERBARIC CENTERS OF CHICAGO offers this 21st Century technology in a safe and caring environment for a variety of indications including: Cerebral Palsy, Lyme Disease, Stroke, PTSD, TBI, Crohn’s Disease, IBS, and many others.
The delivery of HBOT requires the patient to be placed into a pressure vessel, which is pressurized to pressures that are greater than atmospheric, while oxygen is delivered to the patient’s pulmonary system. Our goal is to shift the percentage of dissolved oxygen in every cell in the body to levels that are 15-20 times normal. This dramatic elevation of dissolved oxygen at the cellular level creates a “level playing field” so that our immune system can begin the healing process.
The mechanisms of HBOT include reduced swelling, super-oxygenation of the insult site, and detoxification, HBOT is bactericidal, and it can wake up “idling neurons” in the brain allowing them to process information.
A recent discovery made by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine proves that 40 hours of HBOT causes the bone marrow to release “cascades” of CD 34+ stem cells, which increases a patient’s stem cell count by 800%.
HYPERBARIC CENTERS OF CHICAGO have state-of-the-art single patient and multiple person hyperbaric chambers and our physicians and technicians are trained in hyperbaric medicine. We have a cumulative experience base of over 50 years in hyperbaric medicine. Our goal at HYPERBARIC CENTERS OF CHICAGO is to provide a better quality of life for our patients and our caregivers in a safe and caring environment.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Cancer
There has been a major concern for years about providing HBOT to patients presenting with cancer.
Cancers thrive in blood rich environments but may be suppressed by high oxygen levels. HBOT treatment of individuals who have cancer presents a problem, since HBOT both increases blood flow via angiogenesis and also raises oxygen levels. Taking an anti-angiogenic supplement may provide a solution.
A study by Feldemier, et al. and recent NIH funded study on Stem Cells by Thom, et al., indicate that HBOT is actually beneficial in producing stem/progenitor cells and the malignant process is not accelerated.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Cerebral Palsy
Recent studies have been conducted that may show an increase in the functioning ability of Cerebral Palsy patients who take part in Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT). People troubled with Cerebral Palsy typically have lower blood flow and metabolism in the brain. With HBOT, more oxygen is being pumped into the blood.
Typically 20 times more oxygen is being dissolved into the body through the practice of HBOT. The increased oxygen being pumped into body also increases the blood flow to the brain. HBOT can serve as a neutralizer of toxins in the brain, and over time, promote new blood vessel growth.
There is evidence that demonstrates HBOT can reduce pressure in the brain linked to swelling, which can aid in the reparation of the blood brain barrier and cell membrane. It is thought that HBOT can actually give the brain a jump-start in supplying the situation to increase new brain tissue. This process can also act as a sort of cleaner. It searches for free radicals to clean out of the blood.
In addition to all the many positive affects HBOT can have on the body it also makes oxygen available for metabolic use without consuming energy because the body is not working to absorb the oxygen on its own.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Lyme Disease
While there are only an estimated 150,000 people afflicted with Lyme Disease in the United States, the incidence rate continues to soar at an alarming rate each year.
The CDC speculates that because the condition mimics so many other illnesses, the actual number of people with Lyme disease may be 5 to 10 times higher than the estimated 150,000 of reported cases coping with the disease.Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans by infected deer ticks. While short term sufferers of Lyme report symptoms including bull’s-eye rash, fever, flu-like symptoms, migraines, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, a large number of cases are misdiagnosed and quickly develop into a more serious condition known as late disseminated Lyme.
Late disseminated Lyme comprises many debilitating symptoms and has been considered difficult to treat in the medical community. Symptoms include fever, flu-like symptoms, migraines, fatigue, muscle and joint aches seen in early stage Lyme, but are also accompanied by immune system dysfunction, nervous system dysfunction, or cognitive disorders, sleep disturbance, personality changes, and cardiac problems.
Due to the vast range of symptomology present in Lyme, often times patients are misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression or even arthritis. In addition there is not one diagnosis and proper treatment.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments infuse the body with oxygen, increasing O2 levels by 15-20 times normobaric levels in body tissues through the increased pressure. The bacterium that causes Lyme are considered microaerophilic, needing small amounts of oxygen to survive, but dies in the presence of abundant oxygen. Because the chambers pressurize the atmosphere, hyperbaric acts as a detoxifier as well. By forcing oxygen into the tissues through the pressure, toxins, chemicals and other impurities are forced out. Patients may experience a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction after initial hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is a chronic pain disorder associated with sensitivity to light touch swelling, skin color and temperature changes, weakness, abnormal sweating, muscle atrophy, and subsequent depression.
RSD can follow a simple trauma (fall or sprain) a break or fracture (especially wrist and ankle) a sharp force injury (such as a knife or bullet wound), heart problems, infections, surgery, RSI/CTS, spinal injuries/disorders, or major trauma. But the precipitating cause is not always known. The original injury may happen weeks, months, or even years before the proper diagnosis is made, which contributes to this problem. RSD strikes both men and women, but typically about 75% of patients are women. It strikes victims from 1 to 101, although about 65% of patients contract the disease in their thirties and/or forties.
Hyperbaric oxygenation decreases inflammation and edema while increasing blood flow to the starved limbs and nerves that are damaged by the course of the disease. This in turn reduces fibrous tissue formation. HBOT seems to break the vicious self sustaining cycle of reflex sympathetic dystrophy, because normalization of local tissue oxygen tension, pH and water interstitial content stops abnormal sensory nerve stimulation and efferent vasomotor activity.
Most RSD sufferers report a full night’s sleep after a few treatments of HBOT along with a decreased need for narcotics. After a series of treatments, there is a reported noticeable improvement in thinking and diminished depression. The swelling of the effected arm or leg associated with RSD diminishes, and they are able to start physical therapy with marked improvement in muscle strength. Many people afflicted with RSD have then been able to return to a happier and more productive life, frequently returning to their prior occupation.
Since every patient is different it is hard to predict the result in each individual case. However, we know from 50 years of experience that HBOT is safe and will not make the patient worse. If a significant response is noted after 40 HBOT treatments, then additional treatments may be helpful.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Sports Injury
If you’re an injured athlete, should you breathe in pure oxygen to hasten the healing process? That’s what some sports scientists are recommending, as the inhalation of oxygen under high pressure (also called hyperbaric oxygen therapy) becomes an increasingly popular form of treatment for hurting athletes.
Several English football teams used hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat their players this year, apparently with excellent results. In one case, an athlete with ligament damage reduced recovery time by 33 per cent with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and a second player receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy recovered in only four days even though doctors had predicted a three-week lay-off.
Why would hyperbaric oxygen therapy be helpful? First of all, hyperbaric oxygen treatment boosts white blood cell activity in damaged parts of the body, controlling infections. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy also tends to constrict blood vessels and decrease the amount of blood pumped by the heart. Although this sounds like a negative effect, it actually diminishes blood flow to an injured region, helping to reduce pressure and swelling. Even though blood supply is curtailed, the amount of oxygen actually reaching damaged tissues rises with hyperbaric oxygen treatment because of the surplus oxygen inhaled.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Stroke
Conditions that harm the brain have a wide reach. Whether from a stroke (vascular accident) or a traumatic brain injury, the results impair the whole family.
Even though science now knows better, the “old-school” idea still often remains: that once an area of the brain has been damaged by a stroke, TBI (traumatic brain injury), or near drowning, that nothing or very little can be done to restore the function of that area.
Recent scientific research has demonstrated that while the core-area of the damaged brain tissue may be irreversibly damaged, there is an area surrounding this tissue that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can restore and these neurons (brain/nerve cells) can re-establish their function.
The majority of TIA , stroke and brain injuries are caused by blood vessel obstructions, such as a blood clot, that cuts off blood flow and oxygen to parts of the brain. This results in the death of nerve cells within a very short time. These dying brain cells begin to swell due to their cell walls breaking down, allowing fluid to move into the cells. As these cells swell, they begin to expand into the surrounding tissues. This causes constriction of the blood vessels in the surrounding tissues, which then causes a lack of oxygen to these previously normal cells. These surrounding cells then begin to swell as well. This gradually increasing, damaged, hypoxic tissue surrounding the original injury is called the “ischemic penumbra,” and contributes up to 85% of the disability resulting from a stroke. The cells in this secondary area have the potential of being restored to near-normal, and sometimes normal function.
The neuroscientist Dr. Cyril B. Courville wrote, “crippled nerve cells may persist in the margins of wounds of the brain for many years.” Astrup, Siesjo and Symon suggested that within these damaged margins, idling neurons are present. They are metabolically lethargic and are non-functional, because of low oxygen levels and secondary damage. But they remain viable and are subject to being revived with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Proof of this dormant life of the brain’s cells has been demonstrated with the use of SPECT brain scans done before and after a series of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In the journal Stroke, Dr. Richard Neubauer, a pioneer in the use of this therapy for treating various neurological diseases, reported outstanding results in a group of 122 stoke patients treated with HBOT. In one case, significant functional improvement was noted when Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was used 14 years after the initial stroke.
These studies by Dr. Richard Neubauer conclusively demonstrate the development of new blood vessels to the rim of tissue surrounding the area of the brain that had been damaged. These newly formed blood vessels resulting from the hyperbaric oxygen therapy can then bring fresh blood (oxygen) and nutrients to the damaged tissue. The tissue begins to repair itself and returns to normal or near-normal. These “resuscitated” neurons gradually reconnect to the rest of the brain. These revived neurons and their connections help to return the use of lost cerebral and bodily functions.
HBOT does not resurrect dead brain tissue, but it can facilitate the functioning of those dormant, idling nerve cells that have suffered secondary damage by stroke due to diminished oxygen. Oftentimes, the brain area suffering secondary damage is a larger part of the brain than that which suffered the primary damage. This area of secondary damage to the brain (the ischemic penumbra) is the area that HBOT helps.Improvements have been achieved, gains have been made, even with patients who are more than a decade post-stroke.
Note. TIA: Transient Ischemic Attack, is a “mini stroke”, or “warning stroke” that often produces mild stroke-like symptoms but usually no lasting damage. A TIA is often a forecast of a full-fledged stroke on the horizon, which makes this a good indicator for beginning this therapy. In conclusion, day after day, patients are overcoming the bleak forecasts about recovery from their stroke or traumatic brain injury, using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don’t realize it.
Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly. Most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, and people usually recover fully.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer.
Common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are headache, loss of memory (amnesia) and confusion. The amnesia, which may or may not follow a loss of consciousness, usually involves the loss of memory of the event that caused the concussion.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
Temporary loss of consciousness
Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
Dizziness or “seeing stars”
Ringing in the ears
Delayed response to questions
Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury, such as:
Concentration and memory complaints
Irritability and other personality changes
Sensitivity to light and noise
Psychological adjustment problems and depression
Disorders of taste and smell
Symptoms in children
Head trauma is very common in young children. But concussions can be difficult to recognize in infants and toddlers because they may not be able to describe how they feel. Nonverbal clues of a concussion may include:
Listlessness and tiring easily
Irritability and crankiness
Loss of balance and unsteady walking
Change in eating or sleeping patterns
Lack of interest in favorite toys
Your brain has the consistency of gelatin. It’s cushioned from everyday jolts and bumps by cerebrospinal fluid inside your skull. A violent blow to your head and neck or upper body can cause your brain to slide back and forth forcefully against the inner walls of your skull.Sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head, resulting from certain events such as a car crash or being violently shaken, also can cause brain injury.These injuries affect brain function, usually for a brief period, resulting in signs and symptoms of concussion.
A brain injury of this sort may lead to bleeding in or around your brain, causing symptoms such as prolonged drowsiness and confusion that may develop right away or later.Such bleeding in your brain can be fatal. That’s why anyone who experiences a brain injury needs monitoring in the hours afterward and emergency care if symptoms worsen.
Factors that may increase your risk of a concussion include:
Participating in a high-risk sport, such as football, hockey, soccer, rugby, boxing or other contact sport; the risk is further increased if there’s a lack of proper safety equipment and supervision
Being involved in a motor vehicle collision
Being involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident
Being a soldier involved in combat
Being a victim of physical abuse
Falling, especially in young children and older adults
Having had a previous concussion
Potential complications of concussion include:
Epilepsy. People who have had a concussion double their risk of developing epilepsy within the first five years after the injury.
Cumulative effects of multiple brain injuries. Evidence exists indicating that people who have had multiple concussive brain injuries over the course of their lives may acquire lasting, and even progressive, impairment that limits their ability to function.
Postconcussion syndrome. Some people begin having postconcussion symptoms — such as headaches, dizziness and thinking difficulties — a few days after a concussion. Symptoms may continue for weeks to a few months after a concussion.
Post-traumatic headaches. Some people experience headaches within a week to a few months after a brain injury.
Post-traumatic vertigo. Some people experience a sense of spinning or dizziness for days, week or months after a brain injury.
Second impact syndrome. Experiencing a second concussion before signs and symptoms of a first concussion have resolved may result in rapid and usually fatal brain swelling.
After a concussion, the levels of brain chemicals are altered. It usually takes about a week for these levels to stabilize again. However, recovery time is variable, and it’s important for athletes never to return to sports while they’re still experiencing signs and symptoms of concussion.
A blow to your head, neck or upper body can cause a concussion, which may include symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, nausea or loss of consciousness.
If you suspect you or your child has had a concussion, contact your doctor.Your doctor will evaluate your signs and symptoms, review your medical history, and conduct a neurological examination. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may not appear until hours or days after the injury.
Tests your doctor may perform or recommend include:
Neurological examination. After your doctor asks detailed questions about your injury, he or she may perform a neurological examination. This evaluation includes checking your:
Strength and sensation
Cognitive testing. Your doctor may conduct several tests to evaluate your thinking (cognitive) skills during a neurological examination. Testing may evaluate several factors, including your:
Ability to recall information
Brain imaging may be recommended for some people with symptoms such as severe headaches, seizures, repeated vomiting or symptoms that are becoming worse. Brain imaging may determine whether the injury is severe and has caused bleeding or swelling in your skull.
A cranial computerized tomography (CT) scan is the standard test to assess the brain right after injury. A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of your skull and brain.
Magnetic resonance imaging may be used to view bleeding in your brain or to diagnose complications that may occur after a concussion. An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of your brain.
Observation. You may need to be hospitalized overnight for observation after a concussion.
If your doctor agrees that you may be observed at home, someone should stay with you and check on you for at least 24 hours to ensure your symptoms aren’t worsening. Your caregiver may need to awaken you regularly to make sure you can awaken normally.Rest is the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover from a concussion. Your doctor will recommend that you physically and mentally rest to recover from a concussion.
This means avoiding general physical exertion, including sports or any vigorous activities, until you have no symptoms. This rest also includes limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration, such as playing video games, watching TV, schoolwork, reading, texting or using a computer.
Your doctor may recommend that you have shortened school day or workdays, take breaks during the day, or have reduced school workloads or work assignments as you recover from a concussion.
As your symptoms improve, you may gradually add more activities that involve thinking, such as doing more schoolwork or work assignments, or increasing your time spent at school or work.
For headaches, try taking a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Avoid other pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and aspirin, as there’s a possibility these medications may increase the risk of bleeding.
If you or your child sustained a concussion while playing competitive sports, ask your doctor or your child’s doctor when it is safe to return to play. Resuming sports too soon increases the risk of a second concussion and of lasting, potentially fatal brain injury.
Evidence is emerging that some people who have had multiple concussions over the course of their lives are at greater risk of developing lasting, and even progressive, impairment that limits their ability to function.
No one should return to play or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present.
Experts recommend that adults, children and adolescents not return to play on the same day as the injury.