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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Infants: Benefits, Safety, and Risks

Why expose an infant to hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Is it safe for babies? Find the benefits, safety, and risk factors of exposing your infant patient to this treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Infants
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Infants

Image Source: LoveToKnowHealth

As medical technology advances, so do the treatments available for various conditions. One such treatment is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber to increase the amount of oxygen in the body’s tissues. While this therapy has been used for decades in adults, it is also used in infants. This blog intends to explore the benefits, safety, and risks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for infants.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Treatment for Babies

Definition of Hyperbaric Chambers for Babies

Pediatric hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a non-invasive treatment that provides the same benefit to children as adults. Babies in a hyperbaric chamber receive pure oxygen carried around the entire body to nourish the cells, tissues, organs, and muscles, promoting healing and repairing tissues.

Process of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Infants

Infants are placed in the chamber with a caregiver, and the chamber is pressurized with pure oxygen. The infant and caregiver will stay in the chamber for a specific time, typically 60-90 minutes.

Purpose of an HBOT for Babies 

The purpose of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in infants isn’t the same for adults. The latter seeks HBOT for diabetic ulcers, infections, etc. However, infants seek HBOT for pediatric conditions such as;

  • Compromised skin graft 
  • Radiation injury due to cancer treatment 
  • Non-diabetic wound, etc. 

The medical treatment increases the oxygen levels in the body’s tissues, promotes healing and tissue repair, and reduces inflammation and pain.

How Does Oxygenark Hyperbaric Chamber Help Children?


 Image Source: Oxygenark.com

Oxygenark hyperbaric chamber is designed to help infants feel comfortable and relaxed. Acquiring our product for your hospital facility offers the best experience for your patients. It creates a safe atmosphere for parents to stay close to their babies while receiving treatment. 

In addition, our product is equipped with an intercom system that allows parents to communicate with their children throughout the session.  

What Are the Benefits of the Hyperbaric Chamber for Babies?

  • Improved oxygenation of tissues: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve oxygen levels in the body’s tissues, promoting healing and tissue repair.
  • Improved immune function: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also improve immune function by increasing oxygen levels in the body.
  • Enhanced healing and tissue repair: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can enhance healing and tissue repair by increasing the amount of oxygen available to the body’s tissues.
  • Reduced inflammation and pain: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce inflammation and pain by increasing oxygen levels in the body’s tissues, which can reduce swelling and pain.

Hyperbaric Chamber Cost Per Session

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Cost for Babies

The cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for babies varies depending on the location and type of facility. Generally, the cost can range from $200-$500 per session.

However, some insurance plans may cover the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for babies, and financing options may be available to help cover the cost.

What Does the Hyperbaric Chamber Help Infants?

What Does the Hyperbaric Chamber Help with in Infants
What Does the Hyperbaric Chamber Help with in Infants

Image Source: Bliss

Hyperbaric chambers can help with various conditions in infants, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy, and more. According to research studies, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can positively affect conditions such as HIE and cerebral palsy in infants.

The increased oxygen in the chamber works with antibiotics to destroy bacteria, stimulate stem cell release, and enhance the formation of new blood vessels, thereby promoting healing. 

Why Would a Child Need a Hyperbaric Chamber?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be recommended for babies with certain medical conditions. Some common conditions that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help with include the following:

  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): This is a brain trauma that is caused by oxygen deprivation at birth.
  • Cerebral palsy: This is a group of disorders that affect a baby’s movement and coordination.
  • Chronic wounds: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can promote healing and tissue repair in chronic wounds that are slow to heal.
  • Infections: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help fight certain infections, particularly those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help remove carbon monoxide from the blood, which can be life-saving in cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The decision to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy for a baby will depend on the specific medical condition and the individual case. Before deciding, healthcare providers should discuss the benefits and risks with the baby’s parents.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Babies: What Parents Should Do

During the procedure, parents should stay close to their children, and the following steps need to be taken to ensure a safe and comfortable atmosphere for both parties;

  • Infants should wear approved pajamas.
  • Babies can watch their favorite movie or cartoon during the session.
  • Children should take their vital signs to feel part of the session.
  • Infants are provided with colored candies and biscuits to make them relax and not feel pain during the session. 

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Safe for Babies?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is known to treat various medical conditions in babies. These conditions include hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injuries.

Patients as young as 15 months can be exposed to HBOT as long as the child can sit or lie calmly in the chamber. Therefore, the treatment is considered safe for infants. 

Overview of the Risks and Potential Side Effects

The risks and potential side effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for babies include ear injuries, lung damage, seizures, and fire hazards.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Sessions for Infants: Precautions and Safety Measures 

Safety measures are taken to ensure the baby’s safety during hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions. These include monitoring the baby’s vital signs, ensuring proper chamber ventilation, and providing appropriate oxygen levels.

Who Shouldn’t Use a Hyperbaric Chamber?

While hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally considered safe for babies, some medical conditions may disqualify a baby from receiving the treatment. These include:

  • Congenital heart defects: Babies with certain types of congenital heart defects may not be able to tolerate the changes in pressure that occur during hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • Seizure disorders: Babies with seizure disorders may be at increased risk of experiencing oxygen toxicity during hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • Chronic lung disease: Babies with chronic lung disease may not be able to tolerate the high levels of oxygen used during hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

In addition, babies with certain medical devices, such as ear tubes or chest tubes, may not be able to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What Does Prolonged Oxygen Therapy Place the Infant at Risk for?

While hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally considered safe, prolonged oxygen therapy can place infants at risk for certain complications. These include:

  • Retinopathy of prematurity: This condition can occur in premature babies who receive prolonged oxygen therapy, causing abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina.
  • Chronic lung disease: Prolonged oxygen therapy can cause damage to the lungs, leading to chronic lung disease.
  • Developmental delays: Some studies have suggested prolonged oxygen therapy may be associated with infant developmental delays.

Healthcare providers closely monitor infants receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy to minimize these risks and adjust treatment as needed.

Conclusion

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for infants can be a safe and effective medical treatment for certain conditions. However, healthcare providers must inform parents about the potential risks and benefits before deciding. With proper precautions and monitoring, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can provide valuable support in caring for infants with certain medical needs.

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