Mercy Medical Center Sioux City

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

The Advanced Wound Center at Mercy Medical Center is the only area hospital to offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for the most serious wounds. We offer multiple treatment options and individualized care. Our staff is highly experienced, and our clinical outcomes are better than the national average.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT, is a medical treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen while in a hyperbaric chamber. At the same time, the pressure surrounding your body is slowly increased.

What is the purpose of breathing oxygen under pressure?

Breathing 100% oxygen (O2) under pressure delivers more O2 to your blood, which is then delivered to those areas that are having trouble healing due to the lack of O2 in the surrounding tissues. This process promotes new tissue and blood vessel growth, which improves the healing process.

A high level of oxygen in the blood also helps to fight infections caused by a variety of bacteria, some that only live in the absence of oxygen. As an added benefit, the increased oxygen enables white blood cells to destroy many kinds of bacteria more efficiently.

How long does a treatment last?

An average treatment lasts approximately two hours. During this time, you will lay or recline comfortably in a transparent, pressurized chamber enjoying your favorite music, reading, watching TV or simply relaxing.

Does HBOT treatment hurt?

HBOT treatments are painless. The only discomfort a patient might feel is a sense of "fullness" in the ears, similar to driving down a mountain or taking off or landing in an airplane. Your hyperbaric technician will demonstrate how to relieve this fullness before every treatment. There is no other discomfort during the treatment.

What conditions benefit from HBOT?

  • Diabetics with a wound that is slow to heal, or is not healing
  • A person with damaged tissue from radiation therapy
  • Someone with a skin graft that has a questionable blood supply
  • Certain infections of the bone and/or skin
  • Anyone with a wound that has shown no improvement in four weeks

Chronic, non-healing wounds can cause serious complications, from ongoing pain to severe infection or even amputation. If you have a wound that hasn’t healed after four weeks of standard care, you need to seek advanced wound treatment.
Talk to your doctor, and ask to be refered to the Advanced Wound Care Center at Mercy.