Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in South Africa

  • Frans J Cronje International Congress of Hyperbaric Medicine
  • H Smart Welkom Medi-Clinic
Keywords: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy


What is HBO and how does it work? Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) is the use of 100% oxygen, breathed under pressure and delivered to tissues by the circulation, to achieve a therapeutic benefit. Under hyperbaric conditions oxygen attains medicinal properties. Time and pressure of the exposure provide the specific dose and tissue level required to achieve the effect. HBO provides a pressure-related increase in plasma-borne oxygen. This increases total blood oxygen content by 2025%1 and markedly improves free (i.e. dissolved) oxygen delivery to tissues, increasing the diffusion distance from the capillaries into tissues several fold.2 At these increased tissue levels, oxygen initiates a series of distinct physiological and pharmacological effects.

Author Biographies

Frans J Cronje, International Congress of Hyperbaric Medicine
Past President of Southern African Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Association, President of the International Congress of Hyperbaric Medicine, Past President of the Wound Healing Association of Southern Africa (WHASA)
H Smart, Welkom Medi-Clinic
Clinical Nurse Specialist: Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Unit Welkom Medi-Clinic, EXCO member of the Wound Healing Association of Southern Africa (WHASA)
Treatment Modalities