Advances in the treatment of chronic wounds* have steadily occurred over the past decade and include the specialized use of dynamic compression therapy, implementation of moist wound care techniques, chronic lymphedema therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, arterial compression therapy and application of off-loading devices. General medical practitioners should recognize when timely patient referral to a comprehensive wound care center is indicated. The clinical practice of HBOT and its scientific basis has also advanced significantly during this same time period. HBOT is a therapeutic tool with many qualities that are unique to medical care and enable difficult and otherwise untreatable conditions to be safely and effectively managed. Level 1 evidence exists for HBOT and the therapeutic indications are growing. It is the responsibility of all practitioners to become informed about the modern principles and practice of HBOT. Clinicians should take the advice of Mark Twain: "Supposing is good but finding out is better." It is the responsibility of educational institutions and medical societies to become informed and actively engaged in hyperbaric medical care, education and research. This will benefit our patients as well as our systems of medical care. There is now ample access to hyperbaric oxygen facilities and expertise with the state. There is a growing need for HBOT services due to the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes combined with an aging demographic. Appropriate networks and patterns of referral have lagged behind this demand due to a generalized lack of understanding of the true risks, benefits and indications for HBOT. This review will hopefully begin to address this problem. Hyperbaric medicine is in an early phase of development. The current and future demand for clinical services will drive development of research and educational programs. Only through continued efforts for perform high quality research and education will the full potential of HBOT be realized. Much remains to be done. As systems for the delivery of healthcare enter an era of population management, the regenerative potential of hyperbaric therapies should improve quality of and reduce costs and enable us to meet the challenge of providing care for the growing population of chronic wound patients.
Perdrizet, , , , , , , , (2014). Principles and practice of hyperbaric medicine: a medical practitioner’s primer, part II. Connecticut medicine, 2014 Aug;78(7):389-402. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25195304