HBO (hyperbaric oxygen therapy or hyperbaric pressure therapy) is an accepted treatment for decompression sickness.HBO means that the patient is given pure oxygen at an air pressure that is increased to 2 to 3 times normal air pressure. This treatment is given in hyperbaric chambers which are available at a number of special clinics. By giving such treatment it is possible to increase oxygenation out in the tissues to around 10 times higher values than when air is breathed at normal air pressure.
The treatment is used in various conditions when good oxygenation is to be achieved out in the tissues and can also be used to get rid of carbon monoxide from the blood more quickly in carbon monoxide poisoning and in decompression sickness when too rapid ascent has led to nitrogen being dissolved in the body and needing to be eliminated.
HBO is also used in a number of other conditions with sometimes good results. Mention can be made of severe infections of soft tissues, carbon monoxide poisoning and chronic ulcers caused by poor blood circulation.