Frequent Questions

Have all your doubts answered.

  • What is a hyperbaric chamber?
  • What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
  • Is this a new therapy?
  • What is the mechanism of action of hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
  • For what diseases is this treatment prescribed?
  • How does it feel during treatment inside the chamber?
  • Can it cause any problems?
  • How should the patient prepare for treatment?
  • Who can’t use the hyperbaric chamber?
What is a hyperbaric chamber?

It is a hermetically sealed space where the patient enters to undergo a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session, in which he breathes 100% pure oxygen at a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure. In the case of the Hyperbaric Center of Cascais, the Chamber is monoplace, built in acrylic completely transparent and may have a pressure of 3 ATA.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

It is a type of noninvasive medical therapy consisting of breathing pure oxygen at pressures higher than atmospheric. The patient should enter the hyperbaric chamber, since it is the only mechanism that creates the specified conditions.

Is this a new therapy?

No. The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment and cure of diseases has developed in the last 100 years and every day there are new advances in scientific research.

What is the mechanism of action of hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

High-pressure inhaled oxygen is diluted in the blood plasma, which is one of the components of the blood, reaching areas of the body that would otherwise be impossible to reach. In this way, the high amount of oxygen transported by the blood is a genuine medicine with its own therapeutic effects.

For what diseases is this treatment prescribed?

The applicability of this treatment is vast and science has evolved a lot in recent years. Enumerating some of these applications we have : diving accident, stroke, diabetic foot, injuries secondary to radiotherapy, carbon monoxide poisoning, osteomyelitis, reduction of time in fracture consolidation, gas gangrene, large traumas, sudden deafness, improvement of physical fitness of athletes, anti-aging effect.

How does it feel during treatment inside the chamber?

During the compression period, you may feel discrete pressure in the ear (sensation of filling the ear), overcome by simple compensation maneuvers, such as simple yawning, saliva swallowing and Valsalva maneuver (forcibly exhale the air against closed lips and covered nose). Any type of discomfort should be reported to the specialist who is always present. During compression, and due to a physical phenomenon, there is an increase in environment temperature and, on the contrary, during decompression, the temperature decreases. Once the defined pressure is reached, the patient does not notice any special changes, being able to relax and watch TV.

Can it cause any problems?

It is a very safe medical procedure, although it is not free of medical complications, hence the need for medical control carried out by specialists in hyperbaric medicine in order to minimize these risks.

How should the patient prepare for treatment?

Treatment in a hyperbaric environment is carried out with medicinal oxygen in its pure state at 100% and at high pressures so we must considerably increase safety measures. To enter the hyperbaric chamber, you should not wear any kind of make-up, perfume, lacquer or other prop. The entrance into the chamber should be made only with 100% cotton clothing, clothing that is available in the hyperbaric center at the time of treatment. It is advised not to smoke until at least 2 hours before and after each session, if possible, eliminate the habit during the course of treatment. Each situation has its own therapeutic protocol, so the number of sessions and pressure to be used are appropriate medical criteria in each case defined by the medical specialist.

Who can’t use the hyperbaric chamber?

There are certain pathologies or medical treatments that may contraindicate a priori this treatment, such as a pneumothorax, but it should be the hyperbaric doctor to evaluate in each case whether the treatment is relevant or not.

2019-08-19-LOGO-CHC-02

The Centro Hiperbárico de Cascais is the first Portuguese Hyperbaric Medicine Center with Monoplace chambers that allow medical treatments of up to 3 ATA.

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Hyperbaric Center of Cascais

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