An air or gas embolism is an air bubble that travels through your bloodstream via your veins or arteries and can obstruct blood flow to a patient’s tissues and vital organs. Symptoms of such an embolism can include stroke-like effects, confusion, muscle or joint pain, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, chest pain or heart failure, or other neurological or brain injuries.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is considered a primary treatment for air and gas embolisms, because increased atmospheric pressure reduces the size of the air bubble and enables the bubble to dissolve in the bloodstream.
When administered in a timely manner, hyperbaric oxygen can greatly reduce and possibly reverse many of the symptoms from the embolism. Hyperbarics is even recommended for patients who appear to spontaneously recover, because there is a tendency for the person to deteriorate after the apparent “spontaneous recovery.”
Lisa St John MS, Clinic Director; Dr Jeffrey Kaplan, Medical Director; Laura Jean RN, Director of Patient Care