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What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) is the use of 100% oxygen at an increased atmospheric pressure. HBO was developed to treat victims of diving accidents. We now use it for other medical and surgical problems.

Medical Oxygen Research, is a non-profit organization which offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit. For our elective therapy program, we use a system with the capacity to treat several patients simultaneously called a multiplace chamber.

When do we use hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Medical Oxygen Research provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy for conditions identified as insured services by OHIP according to Health Canada guidelines. Those guidelines adhere to the recommendations of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society for the treatment of the following:

  • Air or gas embolism
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis(gas gangrene)
  • Crush injury, compartment syndrome andother acute traumatic ischemias
  • Decompression sickness
  • Central retinal artery occlusion
  • Enhancement of healing in selectedproblem wounds
  • Severe anemia
  • Intracranial abscess
  • Necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • Osteomyelitis (refractory)
  • Delayed radiation injury (Soft tissue andbony necrosis)
  • Compromised grafts and flaps
  • Acute thermal burn injury
  • Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss

Note: high quality scientific evidence in cancer survivors with collateral damage following radiotherapy can easily be found on the web: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18342453



Clarke R, Tenorio C, Hussey J, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment of chronic radiation proctitis: A randomized and controlled double blind crossover trial with long-term follow-up.Int J Rad Oncol Biol Phys. 2008;72:134–143. [PubMed]

What is a hyperbaric chamber?

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A hyperbaric chamber is a specially designed room or cylinder that can handle increased pressure.

When you are in the chamber, you are accompanied constantly monitored by one or more of our highly trained hyperbaric staff members inside the chamber. There is a communication system that will allow you and the hyperbaric staff inside to talk to those operating the chamber outside at the control panel. This permits staff to provide medicine, refreshments and other needs from outside the chamber to serve you inside the treatment.

You will sit or lie down for your treatment and you will be able to see out the clear windows in the chamber. You can relax, have a nap or watch a movie during treatment.

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

At sea level, the atmosphere exerts pressure at approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch (psig) or 101.3 Kpa. We use 100% oxygen at 2 – 3 that pressure during your treatment. This increased pressure helps get more oxygen to your tissues (there is more oxygen for you to breathe in).

How do I get oxygen while I am in the chamber?

The multiplace chambers are pressurized with air. So, to deliver oxygen you will don a hood, which seals via an elastic material around your neck to provide you an oxygen breathing mini environment. We give you one or more air breaks from the oxygen over the course of your treatment.

Who will give me my hyperbaric treatment?

You are served by highly trained and experienced chamber operators and attendants, with a physician on site at all times during treatments who is trained in the use of hyperbaric medicine. The Medical Director of Medical Oxygen Research is Dr. A. Wayne Evans, a University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine Assistant Professor and internationallyrecognized former Medical Director of the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit at Toronto General Hospital (Dr. Evans provides clinical service at both TGH as well as MO2R).

Treatment Duration

Without a doubt, treatment programs require patients to rearrange schedules to a large time commitment. On treatment days, patients must be prepared to spend at least 3 hours in our hyperbaric department. On selected days (also scheduled), the hyperbaric physician will see you for updates and procedures as needed, thus more time will be needed.

Your actual treatment time in the chamber will be just over 2 hours.

Please let us know if you have specific requests. Although not always possible, we try to schedule your appointment time to best meet your needs.

How often will I have my treatments?

We create your treatment plan based on your medical condition.

Commonly, patients have treatment once per day, 5 days per week for 6 or more weeks, Monday to Friday.

After reviewing your medical condition, the treatment plan suited to your needs will be created. Our hyperbaric physician will explain the purpose and expected results of your hyperbaric oxygen therapy.