Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians have constantly sought out new ways to best treat patients. While there have been some exciting new therapies for the treatment of COVID-19, equally promising are the innovative applications of existing therapies.
As we have seen so many times over the past year, physicians, nurses, and researchers have stepped up once again to find solutions to difficult challenges. One of the more interesting uses of an existing therapy is the exploration of the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), a common treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, carbon monoxide poisoning, post radiation injuries, and other complex wounds, as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Currently, several trials are underway.1
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy’s Noteworthy Outcomes
The UHMS defines hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) as an intervention in which an individual breathes near 100% oxygen intermittently while inside a hyperbaric chamber that is pressurized to greater than sea level pressure (1 atmosphere absolute, or ATA). For clinical purposes, the pressure must equal or exceed 1.4 ATA while breathing near 100% oxygen.2
As the worldwide crisis of COVID-19 increased and without any substantial therapeutic or preventative breakthroughs, increased consideration was given to the utilization of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy to overcome COVID-19 hypoxemia. This application has its origins in the demonstrated success in treatment of severe anemia and carbon monoxide poisoning, both conditions where hypoxemia is treated by hyperbaric oxygen.3
Hyperbaric oxygen offers a likely successful intervention to address the oxygen debt expected to arise from a prolonged period of hypoxemia and tissue hypoxia.4 Ongoing clinical trials are underway on the benefit of hyperbaric oxygen therapy5 to treat acute COVID-19 as well as COVID long-haulers syndrome.6
Especially as indications increase, having the technology and resources that successfully streamline documentation and communication with other providers regarding wound care patients who are also receiving HBOT is more important than ever.
Bringing New Hope
Net Health’s wound care solutions provide a range of features that can support clinicians caring for patients using HBOT. For example, our specialized EHRs help record, track, and share patient status and progress with all members of the care team. Plus, our digital solutions take the high-resolution images necessary to measure and analyze wounds. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments have had a long history of success in wound care and are now bringing hope for the treatment of COVID-19. This new use of an existing therapy is yet another example of timely innovation in healthcare today.
Find out more about Net Health’s range of wound care solutions.
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1Hyperbaric Oxygen for COVID-19 Patients with Moderate to Severe Hypoxemia. ClinicalTrial.Gov. Available at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04619719
2-3UHMS HBO Definition https://www.uhms.org/resources/hbo-indications.html
4HBO Addresses Oxygen Debt Expected to Arise from a Prolonged Period of Hypoxemia and Tissue Hypoxia https://www.uhms.org/images/MiscDocs/Physiologic_and_biochemical_rationale_for_treating_UHM_48-1.pdf
5HBO Clinical Trials https://www.uhms.org/images/Position-Statements/HBO2_and_COVID_8-10-2020_clinicaltrials_8-12-2020.pdf
6UHMS Announcement on Initiating Trial for HBO and COVID Long-Haulers Syndrome https://www.uhms.org/publications/pressure/viewdocument/4816/first-quarter-pressure-2021.html