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Mild HBOT Versus HBOT. What is The Difference

Mild Hyperbaric Therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy may easily be confused by the general public as being the same. Essentially the difference lies in the effective oxygen dose.

Oxygen is an extremely useful and efficacious drug in a wide range of medical conditions.Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an established treatment for a number of health conditions. It is available at approximately 14 centres around Australia and New Zealand, including both Public hospitals and Private facilities.

Inflatable, “soft” or “mild” hyperbaric chambers/bags have been misleading families for years now– wasting time and money and returning very little results, if any in most cases. They are NOT considered True, Hyperbaric Medicine and are completely useless for treating conditions such as Non-healing wounds, burns, radiation damage and bone healing. Many inflatable bag operators and merchants are making false claims, using the valuable research that was conducted using rigid, steel and acryllic chambers– NOT inflatable ones. Even veterinarian clinics are making false assumptions on providing hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Read about our experience about how a reputable veterinarian clinic about Hyperbaric Chamber.

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is the peak world body representing practitioners in this area and defines HBOT as: ‘A treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen while inside a treatment chamber at a pressure higher than sea level pressure (i.e. >1 atmosphere absolute or ATA)’. And all Inflatable chambers cannot achieve internal pressures over 1.3 ATA (10fsw)—yet scientific studies show that oxygen becomes bacteriostatic at 1.5ATA (16fsw) and that pressures lower than this cannot kill bacteria but will actually enhance the growth of certain molds, fungus and aerobic bacteria.

Standard pressure vessels or chambers are typically operated at pressures above 202.6kPa (2 atmospheres absolute – ATA) for periods of 60 to 120 minutes for each session of treatment, with the human patient breathing 100% oxygen.

Breathing 100% oxygen at 2.4 ATA, each breath taken contains oxygen at a pressure of 2.4 ATA (1,824 mmHg) and the arterial oxygen pressure will reach something around 2.0 ATA (1,500 mmHg).

Typically mild hyperbaric therapy or ‘low pressure hyperbaric therapy’ does not provide any more available oxygen to the body than oxygen administration at one atmosphere (sea level). It may be defined as ‘A treatment, usually administered in an inflatable portable chamber, in which a patient breathes air or oxygen enriched air at pressures between 1.2 and 1.5 ATA (slightly higher than sea level pressure).’

A typical mild HBOT session will involve pressurisation to 1.3 ATA breathing 30% oxygen for about one hour. Under these conditions, each breath has an oxygen pressure of 0.4 ATA (296 mmHg) and the arterial pressure is likely to reach a more modest 0.3 ATA (230 mmHg). This is the same oxygen pressure that can be attained by breathing about 35% oxygen at sea level. To put it another way – this amount of oxygen can easily be achieved with out the use of the chamber at all.

The ANZHMG (Australian and New Zealand Hyperbaric Medicine Group) is not aware of any reliable clinical evidence for therapeutic benefit from mild hyperbaric therapy and does not recommend the use of this modality for any medical purpose.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Healing (HOH) at our company aims to help animal companions cope with the effects of ageing, illnesses, injury or overexertion.

Facts of Singapore companies marketing HBOT

  • Inflatable chambers cannot achieve internal pressures over 1.3 ATA (10fsw)—yet scientific studies show that oxygen becomes bacteriostatic at 1.5ATA (16fsw) and that pressures lower than this cannot kill bacteria but will actually enhance the growth of certain molds, fungus and aerobic bacteria.  (Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine, page 143,4th Revised Edition,  K.K. Jain, et al.)
  • You will never find an inflatable bag chamber in a hospital or reputable medical facility because they are NOT recognized as a medical device for Hyperbaric oxygen treatment by the FDA.
  • Reputable Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy facilities have Nationally Certified Hyperbaric Technicians, who have been educated, tested and who have done an extensive supervised internship in the clinical setting of an accepted medical grade hyperbaric program to be certified by a third party organization. Each technician must also be an EMT, an RN, a physician or a military medic. No such certification or standards apply to soft chambers or those that operate them—you can check to see if your Hyperbaric oxygen Therapy provider is really certified by visiting:
  • Inflatable bag chambers are manufactured and recognized by the FDA as devices ONLY for the specific treatment of Altitude sickness (Mountain Sickness).
    1. Any of the other conditions they advertise for (Non Healing wounds, Radiation damage, bone healing, etc) must all be treated at internal pressures over 1.3 ATA– which the inflatable chambers are NOT scientifically able to achieve.
    2. The connection or use of oxygen to a soft chamber is illegal, considered tampering and is deemed unlawful for any use according to the FDA.
    3. The use of any medical oxygen for breathing requires a prescription from a registered physician– MD or DO.

Misrepresentation of HBOT

Pets Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber HBOTCase Study 1 – Local Pet Wellness Company

On their website, they are promoting Hyperbaric Oxygen Healing. The below are listed on their website

Our company is proud to be the first pet establishment in Southeast Asia to introduce Hyperbaric Oxygen Healing, a refreshing way to help animal companions revitalize, rejuvenate and recover naturally with oxygen!

Why Is It A Misinterpretation?

  1. The transparent hyperbaric chamber is pressurized to 1.5 ata using only normal air.
  2. Calculations of Amount of Oxygen Beneficial to the Pet

Oxygen Percentage x Pressurized Atmospheric Pressure
0.21 x 1.5 = 0.315

The pet is only taking in 31.5% of Oxygen, which is worst of then breathing 100% Oxygen in normal Atmospheric Pressure. Such percentage has no documented claims as they have listed.

Therapeutic Oxygen or medical benefits from Oxygen can ONLY be achieved with 100% Oxygen pressurized to a pressure greater than 1.5 ata.

And another downside of Acrylic made chambers is that animal scratching of the internal surface of the acrylic tube would constitute “crazing,” which is a network of fine cracks. Deep crazing (.010″) can compromise the integrity of the acrylic cylinder and ultimately cause it to rupture, which can lead to serious injury to both the animal and the operator.

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An absolute key component of optimal physical and mental health is the ready access to sufficient oxygen.

In HOH, the animal companion is placed in a large transparent chamber that supplies a pressurized flow of pure oxygen 1.5 times that of atmospheric oxygen level, affording the companion more oxygen in the bloodstream, speeding up recovery processes.

The treatment works on the principle that high oxygen concentration, combined with increased air pressure in the chamber, raises plasma-oxygen concentration, allowing oxygen to diffuse into tissues at depths much further than usual to promote healing.

Each treatment session is about 30 minutes. Frequent and regular sessions facilitate a speedy recovery.

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Healing:

  • Shortens recovery time after rigorous activity, exercise, injury or surgery
  • Revitalizes by improving blood flow and oxygen to all organs
  • Regenerates small blood vessels (capillaries), nerves and bones
  • Rejuvenates by releasing stem cells from bone marrow for tissue repair
  • Reduces pain, swelling, tingling, cramps, numbness
  • Suppresses inflammation

Breathing increased levels of oxygen under pressure inside a hyperbaric chamber is used to initiate healing responses in a natural way without side effects.

  • improved performance
  • increased strength
  • enhanced muscle endurance
  • energy boost preventing exhaustion
  • reducing inflammation, swelling, pain
  • reducing fatigue and recovery time
  • speeding up healing of muscles, ligaments and fractured bones
  • reducing and preventing infection
  • reducing scar tissue formation
  • cleansing blood from toxins and toxic substances
  • maintaining general health and strengthening immune system
  • arresting the progress of many acute and chronic problems

Ailments that can be treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Healing:

  • Wounds and burns
  • A broad spectrum of skin infections
  • Post operative skin flaps
  • Post operative swelling and pain
  • Fractures and scars that are not healing well

inflatable hyperbaric chamberCase Study 2 – Local Pet Vet Company

It is listed on the website that they offer Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. However, as nothing more was mentioned, we really cannot comment much.

But we would like to take this chance to explain the type of chamber they have. What the chamber is, is an inflatable model. Most inflatable hyperbaric chamber can only operate to 4 psi (1.27 ATA), which is equivalent to about 2.7m depth.

Why Is It A Misinterpretation?

  1. The transparent hyperbaric chamber is pressurized to 1.3 ata.
  2. Calculations of Amount of Oxygen Beneficial to the Pet, assuming they are using 100% Oxygen

Oxygen Percentage x Pressurized Atmospheric Pressure 1 x 1.3 = 1.3
The pet is only taking in 130% of Oxygen, which is better then breathing 100% Oxygen in normal Atmospheric Pressure. However, such percentage has no documented medical benefits.

Therapeutic Oxygen or medical benefits from Oxygen can ONLY be achieved with 100% Oxygen pressurized to a pressure greater than 1.5 ata.

Inflatable chambers are NOT considered true hyperbaric chambers, they are only capable of pressurizations reaching 1.3 atmospheres or less, this is call “mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy” (mHBOT). They cannot regrow bone and tissue and can actually increase growth of undesirable aerobic bacteria.

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