Oxygen is essential to our existence, as evidenced in the numerous conditions caused by oxygen deficiencies in our bodies. Humans can live without oxygen for approximately 5 minutes. The lack of oxygen results in a dysfunction of organ systems, causing numerous chronic health conditions. The effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is based on a common underlying principle: oxygen is delivered to tissues and cells by being temporarily incorporated in the hemoglobin within the body’s red blood cells.
Under normal conditions, when air is taken into the lungs and passes into the blood supply, hemoglobin is almost 100 percent saturated with oxygen. However, injury or disease may disrupt that process, depriving tissues and cells of some or all of their required oxygen. Under these circumstances, normal atmospheric pressure is not strong enough to force the required amount of oxygen into the body.
Although the hemoglobin does not absorb much more oxygen, HBOT saturates the blood plasma, which comprises the bulk of the blood, with oxygen, thereby increasing delivery to the tissues and cells. Compared to air, which has 21 percent oxygen at 1 ata, 100 percent oxygen at 3 ata causes a 10 to 15-fold increase in plasma oxygen concentration with a resultant increase in tissue oxygenation.
In addition to hyper-oxygenating the blood, oxygen delivered at appropriate pressure greatly enhances the body’s white blood cells ability to kill bacteria and fight infection. It also reduces edema, or fluid accumulation, through vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels), and helps the body lay down wound-repairing connective tissue.
Orlando Hyperbarics provides Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in a convenient and comfortable non-hospital facility. The center, located at 6200 Lee Vista Boulevard, Suite 250, Orlando, Florida 32822, is served by SR 436 and SR 528, easily accessed from Orlando International Airport, and located near Orlando’s Medical City in Lake Nona.