Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in South Africa
AbstractWhat 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.
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