Patients are carefully assessed by our medical staff before starting hyperbaric treatment. During this initial evaluation, patient medical histories are carefully reviewed and the patient is informed of any potential complications. Our medical providers will thoroughly explain the benefits and any potential risks associated with your treatment.

Below is a chart showing some of the documented conditions that might prevent a patient from being a candidate for HBOT. Some of these conditions are absolute, meaning hyperbaric oxygen therapy should be avoided, while others are relative, meaning they may require additional attention, or treatment before starting therapy.

Absolute Contraindications

Absolute Contraindication Reason Contraindicated Necessary Condition Prior to HBOT
Untreated pneumothorax Gas embolism; Tension pneumothorax; Pneumomediastinum Thoracostomy
Bleomycin Interstitial pneumonitis No treatment for extended time from use of medication
Cisplatin Impaired wound healing No treatment for extended time from use of medication
Disulfiram (Antabuse) Blocks superoxide dismutase, which is protective against oxygen toxicity Discontinue medication
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) Cardiotoxicity Discontinue medication
Mafenide (Sulfamylon) Impaired wound healing Discontinue and remove medication

Relative Contraindications

Relative Contraindication Reason Contraindicated Necessary Condition Prior to HBOT
Asthma Air trapping upon ascent leading to pneumothorax Must be well controlled with medications
Active Cancer Unknown effect of hyperbaric oxygen on cancer cells No active cancer at time of treatment
Claustrophobia Anxiety Treatment with benzodiazepines
Congenital Spherocytosis Severe hemolysis None; HBOT for emergencies only
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Loss of hypoxic drive to breathe Observation in chamber
Eustachian tube dysfunction Barotrauma to tympanic membrane Training, PE tubes
High fever Higher risk of seizures Provide antipyretic
Pacemakers or epidural pain pump Malfunction or deformation of device under pressure Ensure company has pressure-tested device and learn to what depth
Pregnancy Unknown effect on fetus (Previous studies from Russia suggest HBOT is safe.) None, but HBOT may be used in emergencies
Seizures May have lower seizure threshold Should be stable on medications; may be treated with benzodiazepines
Upper respiratory infection (URI) Barotrauma Resolution of symptoms or decongestants

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