WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY APPOINTMENT
PREPARATION BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
- Try not to eat or drink one hour before your appointment. Your time in the chamber is one and a half hours.
- Do not wear make-up, lotion, hair spray, deodorant, shaving lotion or petroleum based products.
- You will be asked to remove jewelry and heading aides at your appointment. It would be best to leave these items at home if possible.
- You may wear glasses or soft contacts, but not hard contacts.
- You will not be allowed to bring electronics into the chamber with you. It would be best to leave these items at home if possible.
- Please bring a bag to hold your personal items. There are no locker facilities at SWBPC.
- Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your appointment time. For your initial appointment, there may be intake paperwork to be completed prior to your session.
- Your appointment time is approximately 2 hours, which includes 1½ hours in the chamber and the remaining time for changing before/after the session.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
When you arrive for your HBOT appointment, the technician will begin the screening process in the treatment room. Before every HBOT session, you will have your temporal temperature taken and your ears examined - we do not allow patients into the chamber if they are running a fever or have clogged ears. The information will be recorded in your treatment notes.
A set of 100% cotton scrubs is provided for you wear while in the chamber. You will be directed to change in the restroom. Before entering the chamber, the technician will run through a check list of prohibited items to make sure that you do not have anything hazardous on your person. You will then lay down on the gurney and be made comfortable with extra pillows and blankets. Before sliding you completely into the chamber, the technician will help you put on a non-rebreather mask. This mask will deliver oxygen to you while you are in the chamber and will be your designated mask throughout your treatments at SWBPC. When the gurney is completely in the chamber, the technician will remove and store the cart before closing the door.
DURING YOUR TREATMENT
Once your session starts, you will hear a hissing sound as oxygen goes into the chamber. You may feel momentarily warm at the start of treatment. As the chamber reaches pressure, you may experience a squeezing sensation in your sinuses, ears or teeth. Flexing your jaw by yawning, swallowing, or performing the Valsalva maneuver may help to relieve this discomfort. The Valsalva maneuver involves pinching your nose closed and closing your mouth, while you try to exhale (like blowing up a balloon) for 5-10 seconds. If you are unable to clear the pressure or you notice pain in your ears, inform the technician.
Now all there is to do is lay back and relax! If you would like, you may bring a DVD to watch during your session, or a CD to listen to, or you may take a nap. The technician will remain sitting outside the chamber throughout your entire session, and you will be able to easily communicate with them if necessary.
AFTER YOUR TREATMENT
Once your session is over, the technician will remove you from the chamber. Your non-rebreather mask will be stored in a baggie with your name on it, and will be available for your next session. The technician will also re-check your ears, which will be recorded in your treatment notes. You will then be directed to change in the restroom, where you will leave the scrubs in the appropriate bin to be laundered. All linens used during your session are immediately laundered after your appointment, and the chamber is thoroughly cleaned and reset with clean linens for the next patient.