Working in the medical equipment industry for decades, Samuel David Lehrer has witnessed the rise of some of the most sophisticated machinery used in hospitals and facilities around the world. He shares below how hyperbaric oxygen therapy machines are capable of greatly expediting wound healing for a number of patients.
Samuel David Lehrer has worked with advanced machinery in the medical industry for years and has learned about the tremendous impact machines like those used in hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) can have on the body. While the therapy is still an emerging practice, it’s finding more uses among medical professionals each year.
“During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients experience 100% oxygen as well as pressure that is increased to more than one atmosphere absolute, meaning it’s higher than what we normally experience outside,” says Samuel David Lehrer. “This increases the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream, which is carried to wounds and injury sites to expedite the healing process. It’s a highly-resourceful piece of equipment that’s gaining a lot of attention from medical professionals across the globe.”
Through this process, Samuel David Lehrer tells us, bodily injuries are healed from the inside out using the body’s natural healing agents to do most of the work. The addition of high-concentrations of oxygen just help the body work a bit better than it would on its own, he explains.
HBO therapy helps in a number ways including producing healthy tissue, reducing swelling, creating new blood vessels, and fighting off infection. Circulation is ultimately improved in the therapy, enhancing the healing process without the use of medications or surgery. It has shown to be effective in treating soft tissue radiation injuries, chronic refractory osteomyelitis, compromised skin grafts and flaps, and diabetic wounds, among others.
“Some medical units house a large hyperbaric oxygen therapy room in their facilities so it can be delivered to whole groups of people at once,” Samuel David Lehrer says. “However, that’s usually not the case. Most facilities that do feature a HBO machine use the monoplace model, which is like a table with a giant glass tube around it that only holds one person at a time.”
While similar machines have been around for generations, the modern hyperbaric oxygen therapy we know today didn’t take off until 1937. It was then that Behnke and Shaw used a hyperbaric chamber to treat decompression sickness. The machine was put to other uses starting in 1955, such as to treat radiotherapy-induced damage in cancer patients and, in some cases, while performing heart surgery.
Since then, doctors and medical professionals have discovered several ailments and conditions that the therapy can be used to correct or improve. Some sources state that there have been 132 documented past and present indications for which it has been used so far.
“It’s a powerful machine that has a lot of benefit on the human body with very little impact on the patient,” says Samuel David Lehrer. “I think we’ll find dozens and dozens of new uses for it within the next decade or two alone.”