Thermal burns are the most common type of burn and result from exposure to or contact with steam, flames, flash, and hot surfaces or liquids with a temperature above 115° F. In most burns, cell and tissue death happens in the central area of injury and moves to normal tissue. The injured tissue can either die or heal depending on treatment and the body’s response to it.
The body has an intense inflammatory reaction to the heat leading to swelling and sluggish blood flow. The basic problems in burn repair include susceptibility to infection because of the loss of skin, prolonged healing and excessive scarring.
It works well to preserve as much tissue as possible to help the surgeon, especially on burns on the hands or face. The therapy may lessen the need for surgery, reduce the length of hospitalization, and reduce mortality rate. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, used as an adjunct to traditional burn care, works best when initiated within the first few hours following the injury or as quickly as possible.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment works to maintain micro vascular integrity, control infection, minimize swelling, and promote wound closure in serious burns (i.e., those greater than 20% total body surface, involving the face, hands, feet, and perineum, and/or are deep partial or full thickness injury).