How Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy Fights Against the Silent Killer Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a serious health issue that can even take one's life. Learn how hyperbaric chamber therapy can combat carbon monoxide poisoning.

Chloe Paltrow
Created by Chloe Paltrow
On Apr 13, 2017
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It is colorless, odorless, even tasteless. It is an invisible enemy of human beings that takes thousands of lives every year. Yes, I'm talking about Carbon monoxide or CO. It prevents our blood system from supplying oxygen effectively to every part of our body, vital organs like brain and heart in particular. High doses of CO can cause asphyxiation. Asphyxiation can lead one to death. It is a bit challenging to identify carbon monoxide poisoning. The symptoms include a headache, nausea, vertigo, vomiting, and weakness. Some patients face chest pain, breathing problem, myocardial ischemia, and neurological problems. Hyperbaric chamber therapy has brought revolutionary success in carbon monoxide poisoning treatment.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT reduces the amount of CO in the blood. It also restores the oxygen level to the normal state. You need to invest only 90 minutes for each session to get rid of CO poisoning. For this treatment, you need to enter in a hyperbaric chamber. The assigned technician will gradually raise the pressure within the tube, and in this way, 100% oxygen will be supplied under high pressure. At the completion of the session, the chamber will be depressurized slowly.

Carbon monoxide poisoning during pregnancy

During pregnancy, women, who are affected by carbon monoxide, can be immensely benefited by hyperbaric chamber therapy. It reduces the time required to decrease the carbon monoxide levels in the fetal blood. In this way, it helps to get a healthy baby as well. The fetus is always under a great threat of carbon monoxide poisoning since it takes a longer time to remove the carbon monoxide from the blood of the fetus than the mother's blood.

Things to Consider

  • The amount of carbon monoxide in the blood
  • Current health condition of the patient
  • The distance to the nearest hyperbaric chamber
  • Age of the patient
  • Medical history


According to a study, 50,000 patients visit emergency departments for carbon monoxide poisoning each year. The status is worrisome. But HBOT has brought a relief to the affected patients. You would be glad to know that the Food and Drug Administration or FDA has approved hyperbaric chamber therapy for certain indications and carbon monoxide poisoning is one of them. Let's have a quick glance at the other indications approved by FDA:

  • Gas Embolism

  • Gas Gangrene

  • Crush Injury

  • Decompression sickness

  • Arterial Insufficiencies

  • Exceptional Blood Loss or Severe Anemia

  • Intracranial Abscess

  • Soft Tissue Infections

  • Osteomyelitis

  • Delayed Radiation Injury

  • Skin Grafts and Flaps

  • Thermal Burn Injury

What will happen to you after the treatment?

Within a few days of taking this treatment, you will recover from CO poisoning. But, if your problem is really complicated and long-term, then you may need to continue this treatment for a long time. Hyperbaric chamber therapy is useful both for reducing the amount of CO in the blood, and the symptoms of CO poisoning.

A Final Takeaway

Carbon monoxide is released from household appliances like gas fires, boilers, cookers, water heaters, open fires, and central heating systems. When fuel is not burnt fully, carbon monoxide is formed. Driving a car engine in an enclosed place can be a major reason behind carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is rightly called a silent killer. Hyperbaric chamber therapy is emerging as the most effective treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. Keeping in mind, the increasing demand for hyperbaric chambers, availability of these chambers is rapidly improving. If you are one of those people who are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, you should try hyperbaric chamber therapy under an expert's supervision.

Do you want to know more about hyperbaric chamber therapy? Feel free to ask any questions you have about this therapy, in the comments section.