Patient Care Services  > Wound Care  > Hyperbaric Medicine Services 

Hyperbaric Medicine Services

Palmetto Health Hyperbaric Medicine Services is a national leader in treating patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), a unique approach to help heal wounds, fight infection, preserve damaged tissues and reduce the effects from toxic substances.

Hyperbaric Medicine Services
5 Richland Medical Park Dr.
Columbia, SC 29203
803-434-7812
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

For urgent cases, call 803-434-7222 anytime day or night 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy delivers 100% pure oxygen in two to three times greater amounts than you can breath in through a traditional oxygen mask. The greater amounts of oxygen are dissolved into the bloodstream and delivered to the body tissues in amounts sufficient to promote healing. Patients receiving HBOT lie or recline inside a comfortable, clear acrylic bay, which is monitored closely by a member of the HBOT team.

Depending on the reason for your referral for HBOT, hyperbaric oxygen will be used to provide you with one or more of the following effects:

  • Increased oxygen delivery to injured tissue
  • Greater blood vessel formation
  • Advanced wound healing
  • Improved infection control
  • Preservation of damaged tissues
  • Reduced effects from toxic substances

What does hyperbaric oxygen feel like?
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments normally are painless. You simply lie comfortably in the clear chamber listening to music, watching TV, reading or napping while the clinical team monitors you. You may feel pressure in your ears, similar to flying or driving in the mountains. You will be shown several easy methods to avoid ear discomfort. Most people do not feel claustrophobic inside the chamber. If necessary, the hyperbaric physician can prescribe medication that will help with relaxation and make the treatment less stressful.

Are there any side effects?
Generally, patients experience no aftereffects from HBOT. However, some patients report a “crackling” in their ears between treatments, which you can relieve this in the same way you clear your ears during changes in pressure while in the chamber. Some patients feel lightheaded for a few minutes following a treatment, but this is brief and should be resolved prior to leaving the department. Patients are able to continue with their normal daily activities.

Like all medical treatments and procedures, some risks are associated with HBOT. These risks are quite rare, and they will be discussed with you before you sign your consent form for treatment.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments is individualized to each patient. Some emergent indications will only require one or two treatments, while those with chronic conditions may undergo as many as 20 to 60 treatments. The exact number of treatments will be determined by your response to HBOT. 

For outpatients, treatments normally are provided once a day, five days per week and last about two hours each. Emergent and critical care cases will receive priority treatment available 24/7 at the Richland location.

Palmetto Health also hosts a nationally accredited training program for health care professionals interested in hyperbaric medicine. Click here for more information.

To learn more about HBOT, please visit National Baromedical Services.