The evolving use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Sars-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted insignificant and unprecedented shifts in the delivery of health careservices in the United States. Although wound care remains anessential service during the COVID-19 pandemic, the financialconsequences and infectious disease ramifications of the pandemichave resulted in closure or limitation of hours in many outpatientwound and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) centers. As HBOTpatients often require daily treatment sessions for a period of months,it is necessary for facilities providing HBOT services to adjust to theCOVID-19 pandemic while still maintaining availability of this importantservice. Modification of HBOT session timing and chamberdecontamination procedures, utilisation of telehealth services for initialpatient evaluations, and acceptance of novel patient populations anddiagnoses are mechanisms by which HBOT centers can adapt to theevolving model of health care delivery throughout a pandemic. WhileCOVID-19 is not a currently accepted indication for HBOT, patientsmay be referred for HBOT consultation due to the post-infectioussequelae of the virus, and thus HBOT facilities must be aware of thepotential uses of this treatment for post-viral complications. Byredefining paradigms for health care delivery during the COVID-19pandemic, HBOT and wound centers can continue to provide highqualityand uninterrupted care to vulnerable patient populations.

Categories: COVID and Post-Covid