HOW HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY WORKS
Biochemical and Cellular Effects
Local hypoxia predisposes wounds to infection because neutrophil mediated killing of bacteria is decreased. Hyperbaric oxygen restores this defense against infection. Local hypoxia leads to poor wound healing. Adequate tissue oxygen levels are needed for the formation of the collagen matrix essential for angiogenesis. In irradiated tissue, hyperbaric oxygen offers superior wound healing by these mechanisms.
Reperfusion injury can worsen traumatic crush injuries and cause skin flaps and reattachment procedures to fail. Hyperbaric oxygen inhibits the neutrophil adherence and post ischemic vasoconstriction that have been implicated as primary causes of reperfusion injury.