What Are HBOT Indications?


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared hyperbaric chambers for certain medical uses, such as treating decompression sickness suffered by divers. Thirteen uses of a hyperbaric chamber for HBOT have been cleared by the FDA. They include treatment of air or gas embolism (dangerous “bubbles” in the bloodstream that obstruct circulation), carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness (often known by divers as “the bends”), and thermal burns (caused by heat or fire).

The Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society is the reference source for HBO indications with established guidelines. The list is provided below and can also be viewed at the UHMS website.

1. Air or Gas Embolism
2. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
3. Clostridial Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
4. Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome and Other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
5. Decompression Sickness
6. Arterial Insufficiencies
7. Severe Anemia
8. Intracranial Abscess
9. Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
10. Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
11. Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)
12. Compromised Grafts and Flaps
13. Acute Thermal Burn Injury
14. Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (approved on 10/8/2011 by UHMS Board of Directors)

Other HBOT Indications

Research from around the world indicates that other conditions may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy in conjunction with standard care, or when other measures have failed. In some instances, further double-blind, controlled studies are indicated. Many conditions may require multiple therapies, including optimized conventional treatment along with HBO therapy.

In the book, The Oxygen Revolution, third edition, the following list of conditions for which hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help are:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • Birth Injuries and cerebral palsy
  • Strokes
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s, parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases
  • Diabetes and cardiac disease
  • Joint replacement, arthritis, and bone remodeling
  • AIDS, asthma, alcohol abuse, and other uses
  • HBOT as an anti-aging tool

Learn more about The Oxygen Revolution, the authors, and even download book excerpt in PDF.