Preparing for Your Session at the Hyperbaric Treatment and Wound Care Center
If you’re scheduled for a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) session at the University Health Partners of Hawaii Hyperbaric Treatment and Wound Care Center specifically for wound care, you might be wondering how to best prepare and what the experience will entail. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate your upcoming session:
1. Dress Appropriately:
Wear loose-fitting undergarments. This will keep you comfortable during the session, which can last up to two hours.
A. Cotton Medical Gown:
Upon your arrival at the center, you’ll be provided with a 100% cotton medical gown.
This specific material is chosen not just for its comfort but also for its safety properties.
Cotton is non-reactive with the high concentrations of oxygen used in the chamber, reducing any risk of adverse reactions.
B. Leave Personal Items Behind:
The chamber is filled with 100% oxygen, which means certain items pose a risk due to their flammability. Before entering the chamber, you’ll be asked to remove items such as:
- Electronic devices (phones, music devices, battery-operated devices)
- Ignition sources (lighters, matches)
- Petroleum-based skin products, hair gels, sprays, or mousse
- Deodorants, lip balms, perfumes and colognes
- Nail polish
- Jewelry (watches, earrings, necklaces)
- Non-cotton clothing
- Hard contact lenses, dentures, hearing aids, insulin pumps and ostomy bags
C. Wound Dressing:
If you’re undergoing HBOT for wound care, ensure that all your wounds are correctly dressed before the therapy. The center’s medical team will provide guidance on the best dressings to use that won’t interfere with the therapy.
D. Communication with the Team:
If you have any concerns about your attire or any items you’re unsure about bringing into the chamber, don’t hesitate to communicate with the medical team. We are here to ensure your safety and comfort throughout the process.
2. Bring Your Preferred Entertainment:
A. Bringing Your Own Material:
While electronic devices are not permitted inside the chamber due to safety concerns, patients are encouraged to bring non-electronic reading materials. Whether it’s a favorite book, magazine or crossword puzzle, having something familiar can make the time pass more quickly and enhance the overall experience.
B. Mindfulness and Meditation:
Another way to make the most of your HBOT session is to use the time for mindfulness and meditation. The quiet environment of the chamber is conducive to introspection. Deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques or simply focusing on the rhythm of your breath can be therapeutic and complementary to the healing process of HBOT.
C. Preparing Ahead of Time:
Before your scheduled session, consider planning your entertainment. If you decide to bring reading material, ensure it’s packed and ready the day before. If you’re planning on meditation, perhaps research or practice a few techniques in advance.
4. Stay Communicative:
A. Open Channels:
Having an in-chamber care provider and an intercom system ensures that patients maintain constant communication with the attending physician and the entire hyperbaric team.
B. Expressing Discomfort:
While HBOT is generally a comfortable procedure, there might be moments when you feel a bit uneasy or experience discomfort. It’s essential to immediately communicate any such feelings to the in-chamber care provider. Whether it’s a minor adjustment or a pause in the session, the medical team is there to ensure your well-being.
C. Asking Questions:
Curiosity is natural, especially when undergoing a treatment like HBOT. If you have questions about the process, the equipment, or even the science behind the therapy, don’t hesitate to ask. The medical team at UHP is well-equipped to provide answers and clarify any doubts you might have.
D. Feedback is Valuable:
Please feel free to provide feedback, both during and after the session. By sharing your experience, feelings and suggestions, you not only enhance your own future sessions but also help the center improve its services for other patients.
E. Building Trust:
Open communication fosters trust. By staying communicative, you build a rapport with the medical team, ensuring a collaborative environment where both parties are working towards the common goal of your health and recovery.
5. Understand the Pressurization Process:
A. Sealing the Chamber:
Once you’re comfortably positioned inside the chamber, the chamber will be sealed. This sealing ensures that the environment inside the chamber can be controlled and maintained at the desired conditions for the therapy.
B. Introduction of Oxygen:
Once you are settled in, you will perform your ear pressure equalization exercises while the chamber is pressurized. The in-chamber Care Provider will help you don your hood, through which you will receive your own pure oxygen source.
C. Elevating the Pressure:
Along with the high oxygen concentration, the pressure inside the chamber is increased to levels above normal atmospheric pressure. This combination of high oxygen concentration and elevated pressure allows for greater oxygen absorption by the body’s cells, tissues and fluids.
D. The Healing Mechanism:
Under these conditions, oxygen dissolves more efficiently in the bloodstream, allowing it to reach areas where circulation might be compromised or reduced. This enhanced oxygen delivery promotes faster wound healing, reduces inflammation, and can help combat certain types of infections.
E. Monitoring the Process:
Throughout this phase, the medical team will closely monitor the conditions inside the chamber and your condition. This ensures that the therapy is progressing as planned and that you remain comfortable and safe during the entire process.
F. Completion and Decompression:
After the designated therapy duration, the pressure inside the chamber will be gradually reduced to normal levels, ensuring a smooth, comfortable transition back to sea level. This decompression phase is as crucial as the pressurization phase and is handled with utmost care by the medical team.
6. Post-Session Care:
A. Taking a Breather:
Immediately after the session, youʻll want to give your body a moment to adjust back to regular atmospheric conditions. Take a few deep breaths, relax and allow your body to recalibrate.
B. Hydration is Key:
HBOT can be dehydrating, so youʻll need to replenish any lost fluids. Drink a glass of water or an electrolyte-rich drink to rehydrate and restore balance to your system.
C. Engaging with the Medical Team:
The medical team is dedicated to your recovery. They are available to address any concerns, answer questions or provide guidance on wound care post-HBOT. Don’t hesitate to engage with them and share your observations or concerns.
E. Home Care Recommendations:
The medical team might provide specific instructions or recommendations for wound care at home. Adhering to these guidelines can enhance the therapy’s effectiveness and promote faster healing.
F. Monitoring Your Well-being:
While the primary focus is wound healing, we ask that you monitor your overall well-being post-HBOT. If you feel fatigued, dizzy or experience any other unusual symptoms, inform the medical team immediately.
7. Monitor Your Wound
A. The Importance of Continuity:
While HBOT sessions provide a concentrated healing environment, the wound healing process is continuous. Ensuring consistent care and monitoring at home is crucial to complement the benefits of the therapy.
B. Adhering to Instructions:
Post-HBOT, the medical team will provide specific care instructions tailored to your wound’s needs. These guidelines might include cleaning procedures, dressing changes or recommended ointments. Adhering to these instructions ensures optimal healing conditions for your wound.
C. Open Communication:
If you observe any unusual changes or have concerns about your wound’s healing process, reach out to us. We will ensure that any potential issues are addressed promptly.
D. Complementary Care:
In addition to wound-specific care, consider practices that promote overall well-being. A balanced diet, adequate hydration, good glucose control for diabetics and proper rest can enhance the body’s natural healing processes.
The Hyperbaric Treatment and Wound Care Center harnesses advanced medical technology for enhanced healing. This therapy, backed by rigorous research and clinical expertise, offers a promising avenue for those seeking accelerated wound recovery. With this comprehensive guide, you’re not just walking into a medical procedure; you’re stepping into a well-informed journey. From understanding the intricacies of the chamber to post-session care, every aspect has been detailed to ensure you’re equipped with the knowledge to navigate the process confidently. As you prepare for your HBOT session, remember that you’re in the capable hands of dedicated professionals at University Health Partners of Hawaii. Our goals are the same: healing your wounds. With your proactive approach and this guide as your companion, you’re poised to maximize the benefits of this innovative therapy, paving the way for a swift and effective recovery.