• Healing with hyperbaric oxygen therapy

hyperbaric chamber with patient and medical staff assisting

Diving deep and flying high, Mayo Clinic's Hyperbaric and Altitude Medicine program is approaching 10 years of service in Rochester, Minnesota. Although hyperbaric oxygen therapy is rooted in medical science, the process still strikes some people as a bit of a mystery.

"Many individuals have strong opinions as to what it is and what it isn’t," says Dr. Paul Claus, the unit's medical director. "I think people just have to have an open mind, read the literature and look at the evidence. It came out of [deep-sea] diving experience, when oxygen was used to decompress divers who had been too deep too long and absorbed too much nitrogen."

two patients in clear hyperbaric helmets on in the hyperbaric chamber

Even though sessions are still referred to as dives, today's applications for therapy include treating diabetic wounds, gas embolisms in blood vessels, radiation injuries from cancer treatments and carbon monoxide poisoning. So how does it actually work? Dennis Douda talks to Mayo's experts.

Watch: Healing with hyperbaric oxygen therapy  

Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (4:16) is in the downloads. Read the script



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