• Crush injury is a severe injury of two or more tissues (muscles, bones, other connective tissues, skin, nerves) that jeopardizes their survival due to its extensiveness. Consecutive edema and damage to blood vessels increases lack of oxygen and leads to irreparable tissue damage and loss of function. Under hypoxic conditions, the tissues lose ability to fight infection and recovery from injury is also jeopardized. The basis of the treatment is wound and fracture care, antibiotic treatment and surgical measures as indicated. Numerous data suggest the necessity of early application of HBOT into the arsenal of therapeutic weapons. If HBOT is postponed for 5 or 6 hours and if at the same time the affected limb is bluish and swollen, limb survival prognosis gets worse. HBOT lessens tissue hypoxia by increasing partial pressure of oxygen, lessens edema, enables survival of endangered tissues, promotes wound healing, prevents infection and lessens effects of reperfusion injury.
  • Compartment syndrome occurs when pressure of fluid inside muscular compartment of an extremity becomes higher than the pressure within capillary network, thus leading to ischemia, loss of function and tissue necrosis. Standard surgical intervention in such cases is fasciotomy (muscular fascia is cut to relieve tension).

HBOT is applied to prevent further damage to the affected tissue, however HBOT should not be understood as a replacement for surgical decompression. HBOT could prevent further deterioration until surgical measures are finally undertaken. After surgical decompression, if neurological damage or muscular necrosis still persists, HBOT could increase chances for survival of vital tissues on the rim of the damage.

hypoxic conditions ischemia vital tissues oxygen hbot therapy