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King Hamad University Hospital is committed to provide high quality healthcare and has the only public service Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy facility in Bahrain. The Department of Hyperbaric Medicine is staffed by physicians and nurses specially trained and qualified in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and advanced wound care.

What is Hyper Baric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

Hyperbaric oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment in which the patient breathes 100% oxygen while being subjected to increased atmospheric pressure in a pressurized chamber. That will provide benefits on:

  1. Reduction and elimination of tissue obstruction caused by gas bubbles in diving accidents (Decompression sickness or “Bends”).
  2. Increase of oxygen carrying capacity of blood to injured tissues of the body.
  3. Promotion of new small blood vessel formation.
  4. Promotion of wound healing due to cell activity enhancement.
  5. Supporting infection treatment protocols (improving antibiotic effects) in selected cases.
  6. Reduction of swelling in injured tissues after trauma.

Medical Conditions in which HBOT is useful

Apart from recompression therapy for treating injured divers , the most common medical & surgical conditions which benefit from HBOT are severe life threatening skin infections, non-healing & infected wounds (especially in persons with diabetes), osteomyelitis (bone infections), radiation injury to bone or soft tissue and carbon monoxide poisoning. This is in line with the internationally accepted indications approved by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), USA and these include the following:-

  • Air or Gas Embolism – Air or gas bubbles inside the blood vessels which affects the blood flow
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Clostridial Myositis and Myonecrosis – Gas Gangrene
  • Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome and Other Acute Traumatic Ischemias -
  • Decompression Sickness – Seen in Divers and Compressed air tunnel / Caisson workers
  • Arterial Insufficiencies & Selected problem wounds such as Diabetic foot ulcers, Diabetic gangrene, Non healing wounds and ulcers
  • Severe Anemia
  • Intracranial Abscess
  • Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
  • Osteomyelitis (Refractory) – Chronic bone infection not responding to normal treatment
  • Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis) – Radiation Proctitis, Radiation enteritis, Radiation cystitis, Osteoradionecrosis of jaw bone etc.
  • Compromised Grafts and Flaps
  • Acute Thermal Burn Injury
  • Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

There are other medical and surgical conditions with a sound physiological basis for providing HBOT, that are currently experimental and not on the UHMS approved indication list. This may be beneficial to some patients as determined on a case to case basis, after assessment by and on discretion of the Hyperbaric physician. Some of these include Facial palsy, Acute retinal arterial occlusion, Chrohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, Multiple sclerosis, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Malignant otitis externa, Tinnitus, Sudden hearing loss, Acute hypoxic enecephalopathy, Acute Intracranial haemorrhage (Stroke) or Chronic Stroke, Rhinocerebral mucormycosis etc.

HBOT services in KHUH

The HBOT service in KHUH comprises of a Multiplace chamber for treating upto 8 patients at a time and 5 Sechrist Monoplace chambers for single patient sessions. HBOT treatment sessions usually last between 1-2 hours and are conducted once or twice a day depending on the clinical condition. The total HBOT therapy may consist of 10-30 or even more HBOT treatment sessions depending on the indication, clinical condition and patient response to therapy. Assignment of the most appropriate HBOT treatment protocol is done by the Hyperbaric physician.

In wound related cases transcutaneous oximetry monitoring (TCOM) is done beforehand to assess the amount of oxygen reaching the skin and near wounds. This determines the severity of arterial disease and helps determine the healing potential of the wounds to HBOT.

HBOT treatment sessions is done by a skilled and dedicated team that is focused on patient centered concerns and clinically geared outcomes with continuous evaluation before, during and after HBOT treatment.

The Hyperbaric Department unit is located on the 1st level of the King Hamad University Hospital. Hours of service: 8am to 4pm Sunday to Thursday with a 24 hrs on call list for emergency cases. For further information regarding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, please call Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy department or KHUH to book appointments or receive more information.

Tel: 17444250 / 17444255 / 17444414 / 17444651