Oxygen therapy in decompression sickness
Decompression sickness was probably one of the first conditions treated with oxygen therapy. It is even possible that because of the disease, the first hyperbaric chamber was constructed. Currently, we also use HBOT to prepare for diving, as well as for people who already have diving experience.
Decompression sickness is a set of symptoms that affects a person exposed to too rapidly decreasing external pressure. It can affect divers who do not follow the rules of ascent and ascend too quickly, as well as pilots or caisson workers.
Symptoms may include skin changes, joint and limb pain, cardio-pulmonary and neurological problems.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy at a compression above 2 atmospheres has been proven as an effective method of treating decompression sickness. What’s more, there are even studies that it brought effects when applied with a delay (more than 48 hours after decompression).
Increased oxygen pressure allows to relieve pain (by improving blood supply and nutrition of damaged tissues. It also helps to accelerate the healing of skin lesions caused by decompression.