HBOT Indications

About HBOT Indications

The HBOT benefits and positive scientific evidence lent credibility to the employment of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy worldwide.

Unfortunately, by the late 1970s, the tendency of unprofessional and often indiscriminate use of the hyperbaric treatment was recognized. For a variety of reasons, some practitioners were searching to cure anything by Hyperbaric Chambers.

In order to prevent backlash from the strictly scientific approach and protect patients from indiscriminate use, professional hyperbaric organizations had to establish guidelines for the employment of Hyperbaric Therapy.

As a result, the US-based Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), formed in 1967, was the first to formulate the official definition and approved indications list for HBO treatment.

UHMS definition of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

“The patient breathes 100% oxygen intermittently while the pressure of the treatment chamber is increased to greater than one-atmosphere absolute (atm abs). Current information indicates that pressurization should be at least 1.4 atm abs. This may occur in a single person chamber (monoplace) or multiple chambers (may hold 2 or more people). Breathing 100% oxygen at 1 atm abs or exposing isolated parts of the body to 100% oxygen does not constitute HBO2 therapy.”

HBOT Indications approved by UHMS Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee

  • Air or Gas Embolism
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / Cyanide Poisoning
  • Clostridial Myositis and Gas Gangrene (Clostridial Myonecrosis)
  • Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome, and other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
  • Decompression Sickness
  • Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds
  • Exceptional Blood Loss (Anemia)
  • Intracranial Abscess
  • Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
  • Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
  • Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue and Bony Necrosis)
  • Skin Grafts & Flaps (Compromised)
  • Thermal Burns

The list of medical conditions treated by HBOT internationally is much wider. In USA and Europe, they are referred to as off-label indications. Often these are not reimbursed by insurance as being categorized as Investigational.

Investigational HBOT indications (often called Off-Label indications)

Autoimmunity Related Disorders

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Silicone induced disorders
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cardiac Disorders

  • Heart attack, Myocardial ischemia
  • Aid to cardiac surgery and rehabilitation

Endocrine Disorders

  • Diabetes


  • Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers


  • Acute and Chronic Anemia

Neurological Disorders

  • Candidas and fungal infections
  • Hypoxic birth disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • AIDS
  • Autistic disorders
  • Cerebral edema
  • Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy due to hypoxia
  • Chemical Poisoning (e.g. Pesticide)
  • Flesh-eating bacteria
  • Headaches, Cluster
  • Lyme disease
  • A migraine
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Mycoplasma
  • Near drowning
  • Near hanging
  • Neurovascular compression
  • Peripheral nerve injury and neuropathies, demyelination
  • RSD
  • Spider Bite
  • Stroke
  • TOS
  • Vegetative coma


  • Macular degeneration
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

Orthopedic Disorders

  • Bone Grafts
  • Fracture repair, delayed and non-union
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Post-surgical instability
  • Sacroiliac Syndrome
  • Aid to prosthesis rehabilitative care


  • Acute Acoustic Trauma
  • Sudden deafness

Peripheral Vascular Disorders

  • Acute and Chronic arterial insufficiency
  • Delayed wounds, recurrent ulcers an infections

Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

  • Post-surgical soft tissue infections
  • Non- healing post-surgery, reconstruction and cosmetic surgery
  • Pre and Post Surgery healing, reconstruction and cosmetic surgery


  • Closed head injury
  • Compartmental syndrome
  • Soft tissue musculoskeletal injuries