Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: A brief history and review of its benefits and indications for the older adult patient

Shailendra Singh, Steven R. Gambert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy has long been used to treat decompression sickness, but more recently has been explored as a primary or adjunctive therapy for a number of injuries and medical conditions, many of which commonly affect the aging adult population. Its potential benefit in conditions such as acute traumatic ischemia, necrotizing soft tissue injuries, nonhealing ulcers, and osteoradionecrosis are of particular interest. Yet, despite evidence for its benefit in decompression sickness and air embolism, there are few randomized controlled clinical trials documenting the effects of HBO2therapy for the range of other conditions for which it has been reported to have benefit. Much research remains to be done regarding the advantages and efficacy of HBO2therapy, so that clinicians are enabled to develop treatment plans for their elderly patients that incorporate all possible beneficial therapies. This article provides a brief overview of HBO2therapy, reviewing its history, potential mechanism of action, indications in the older adult population, safety and side effects, and its potential role in nursing home care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Long-Term Care
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute traumatic injuries
  • HBOtherapy
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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