About Hyperbarics >> Diabetic Foot Ulcer > Hyperbaric Side Effects
Diabetic Foot Ulcers & Side Effect of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

You have made a wise choice to provide your diabetic patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy in your facility. As with any treatment, there are a few minor side effects for which you should be prepared. Hyperbaric chamber treatments are impressively safe and serious side effects are very rare. Even the rare, more serious side effects can be monitored and dealt with quickly and easily. Sechrist wants to help you not only prepare your facility for your purchase of a quality Sechrist hyperbaric chamber , but also provide you with some pro-active solutions to guide you.

The Most Common Side Effect

By far, most common side effect that your patients will experience in the hyperbaric chamber, is pressure in the ears. This feeling is equivalent to that experienced when taking off or landing in an aircraft. To ensure the treatment is relaxing, prior to entering the chamber you can educate your patients on how to relieve this pressure. Some of the techniques recommended for patients are:
  • Pinching the nose and blowing out of the mouth
  • Yawning
  • Adjusting or rolling the lower jaw
  • Blowing the nose
This pressure effect will typically only be felt for the first 5 minutes as the pressure increases in the chamber. The more effective your patient is at applying the above techniques, the less likely pressure will be an issue.

The second most common side effect is claustrophobia. This can be dealt with in a variety of ways, and it is vital that this condition be taken seriously. It may require some patience on your part, as you may have to slowly introduce the patient to the chamber. In this case, some ideas to consider include:
  • Place the patient in the chamber for a few moments, to get acclimated to the environment. Each time they enter the chamber, increase the time spent until they are comfortable.

  • Aid your patient with a relaxation method, by having them focus on their injury and healing. For example, when you have a patient with a diabetic foot ulcer, he/she can use his/her mind to envision healing in that area. This serves two purposes - calming them and potentially aiding in healing.

  • Provide relaxing music or another kind of distraction (such as an external mounted LCD TV) to keep their focus on something other than the enclosed environment.

  • For severe cases of claustrophobia, you can utilize sedation. Sedation can be done safely and does not inhibit the hyperbaric chamber results.
 A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity caused by taking in oxygen at elevated pressure and can infrequently result in seizures. Almost always, this side effect will go away once the treatment stops. Oxygen toxicity as a result of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an extremely rare side effect. Another rare side effect is change in vision. Vision changes occur in the occasional patient, but also will clear up after treatment is completed.

Once you have completed your purchase of a Sechrist hyperbaric chamber, consider preparing an informational packet with some of the above ideas to prepare your patients for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. 

Sechrist is committed to being a long term partner for all hyperbaric oxygen therapy providers. We will continually update our website, with the newest research, products and ideas to help our customers keep up with all the latest information and technology. This is in addition to receiving the best technical support, warranties, parts, and maintenance in the industry.