Mark's Sports Therapy and Hyperbaric Centre 

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Oxygen Under Pressure


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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a method of administering pure oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure to a patient in order to improve or correct certain conditions.

Key Benefits

  • Healing of Difficult Wounds
    • Bed sores, leg ulcers, skin grafts, crush injuries, infected bones and osteoradionecrosis often show remarkable improvement with HBOT.

  • Burns and Skin Grafts
    • HBOT when administered in time can save skin grafts that are not taking, by enhancing blood vessel growth to the area.

  • Infections and Ulcers
    • Chronic ulcers may result from a lack of blood supply to an extremity due to diabetes and other conditions. Unfortunately, conventional medical practice may recommend amputation in cases where HBOT could preserve the limb. With revasularization and increased oxygen, the entire extremity or a large part of it is often saved.
  • Sports Injuries
    • Even the most casual of athletes and weekend warriors experience injuries and have a desire to get healed fast for that big race/event. Via HBOT, additional oxygen reached damaged bone tissue, and helps speed the body's own, natural healing process, thereby reducing recovery time for various soft-tissue injuries and bone fractures.

  • Stroke
    • HBOT has been shown to improve speech, aid the benefits seen from occupational therapy and generally improve the quality of life of a person that has had a stroke. It does this by relieving the hypoxia (lack of sufficient oxygen), improving the micro-circulation, providing vascular diffusion of oxygen and reducing cerebral edema and spasticity.
  • MS-Multiple Sclerosis
    • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients with Kurtze category less than five respond very well to hyperbaric oxygenation. Currently there are 12,000 MS patients being treated at 110 centers in the United Kingdom. The results are the same as was published by Dr. Neubauer in 1978 and 1980 in the Florida Medical Journal:

      1) It is not a cure.

      2) It is dose sensitive.

      3) It requires long term follow up treatment.

      4) It alters the natural history of the disease in a favorable fashion.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Cerebral edema (swelling) is the rise of intra-cranial pressure (ICP) which has serious consequences. This may be frequently associated with severe head injuries or the anoxic and toxic encephalopathies. Studies by the Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Centre (OHNC) and others have shown that HBOT, initiated soon after acute closed head injury, can reduce mortality by more than 40%, and substantially increase the possibility of the patient's complete recovery. Recently, close monitoring of cerebral pressure has been extremely effective.

  • Anoxic Ischemic Encephalophathy

    (Near drowning, near hanging)

    • Every year, more than 150,000 Americans suffer severe head injuries. Like stroke, head injuries deprive certain areas of the brain of oxygen. Again, as in the case of stroke, the damage resembles an atomic bomb blast, with a central core of what is probably irreparable damage surrounded by a penumbra of lesser damage. It is both the size and the location of the initial damage, as well as the reversibility of the damage within the penumbra, that dictates the patient's prognosis. In some cases, this damage can be reversed by HBOT.


    • But head injury isn't the only cause of brain damage. Every year, thousands of Americans suffer brain damage as the result of near hanging, near drowning, near choking, cardiac arrest, cyanide and carbon monoxide poisonings, and lightning strikes. This type of brain damage is known as an anoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

      Brain damage often occurs after a head injury because the brain starts to swell, pressing delicate tissue against the unyielding skull. One researcher found that 80 percent of patients with serious head injuries had brain swelling. This swelling leads to a vicious cycle: the swelling cuts off the brain's blood supply, which leads the accumulation of toxic levels of normal cell wastes. The wastes, in turn, further aggravate the swelling. Such damage can lead to coma, a state of deep unconsciousness in which the patient does not respond to pain or sound, and cannot be awakened. But even under such circumstances, certain brain cells survive in a dormant state within the zone between the damaged and the healthy parts of the brain, a zone called the penumbra.


    • HBOT can, at times, break this cycle by constricting the brain's blood vessels, yet delivering more oxygen. This seems like a contradiction, but HBOT can increase oxygen levels because the increased pressure forces oxygen into the blood plasma, the liquid part of the blood that normally does not carry oxygen, and into the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain. The plasma and cerebrospinal fluid can then reach areas that the red blood cells, which normally carry oxygen, cannot penetrate.

      With HBOT, oxygen in the capillaries is pushed further into the adjacent tissues than when oxygen is administered at standard pressure. HBOT can also stabilize and repair what is called the blood-brain barrier, a protective layer of cells that keeps many toxins or noxious materials from reaching the brain. This barrier is often greatly disturbed when a head injury occurs. As a result of the extra oxygen that HBOT provides, the dormant brain cells in the penumbra are awakened and begin to function again.

      Giving a patient pure oxygen at normal pressure simply cannot put enough oxygen into either the bloodstream or the cerebrospinal fluid to overcome the oxygen deficit. But HBOT can improve this oxygen deficiency. Often, this increased oxygenation helps to restore the patient to a conscious state. In certain cases, it also allows the patient to recover from brain damage after effects such as paralysis and speech loss.



  • Pricing is currently R600 per session

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The information provided by Mark's Sports Therapy and Hyperbaric Centre does not constitute a medical recommendation. It is intended for information purposes only, and no claims, either real or implied are being made.
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