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Hyperbaric Medicine Services
5 Richland Medical Park
Columbia, SC 29203
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Available for urgent cases 24/7, 803-434-7222
Palmetto Health Hyperbaric Medicine Services is a national leader in treating patients with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy, a unique approach to certain infections, poisonings, and complicated wounds. Palmetto Health Richland also hosts an international training program for healthcare professionals interested in hyperbaric medicine.
Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy involves the administration of 100 percent oxygen at pressures two to three times greater than normal sea level pressure. The patient is placed within a clear, acrylic chamber that is filled with oxygen at certain pressures based upon each patient's condition.
When a patient breathes 100 percent oxygen under pressure, greater amounts of oxygen are dissolved into the bloodstream and delivered to the body tissues in amounts sufficient to promote healing. The benefit comes from the breathing of the oxygen under pressure, not from the oxygen being in direct contact with the skin or wound.
The number of HBO treatments necessary is dependent upon the patient's condition. Some emergency conditions may require only one or two treatments. In the majority of other cases, the effects are gradual and between 20 to 30 treatments may be required.
Generally, there are no after-effects from HBO therapy. However, some patients report a "crackling" sound in their ears between treatments. This is easily relieved. Some patients report feeling lightheaded for a few minutes following a treatment, but this is brief, and patients soon are able to continue with their normal daily activities.
On rare occasions patients develop temporary changes in eyesight. Studies have shown that any altered vision is of short duration and will return to its pretreatment status following cessation of HBO therapy.