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HyperbaricOxygen Therapy


Aurora is home to one of the first hyperbaric medicine programs in the nation. Dr. Eric P. Kindwall, the grandfather of clinical hyperbaric medicine, first delivered this specialized treatment in 1969 at St. Luke’s, now known as Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. What began with two hyperbaric chambers (nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde) has grown into one of the premiere hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) programs in the country.

We now offer 11 hospital-based Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care Centers with critical care and 24/7 availability. We have the second-largest hyperbaric chamber in the United States, capable of accommodating 25 patients at one time. Our clinical technology and groundbreaking research continues to garner regional and national recognition, giving us the reputation as a world-class leader in hyperbaric medicine.

How HBO2 Works

When you suffer an injury, your tissue needs more oxygen to survive. Chronic wounds develop when the natural healing process is disrupted due to factors like advanced age, infection, low blood flow, poor nutrition, diabetes, and decreased levels of oxygen in the blood. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) helps chronic wounds heal by increasing the flow of oxygen.

Patients enter a pressurized single- or multi-person treatment chamber where the air pressure is raised to three times higher than normal. This allows your lungs to take in three times more pure oxygen than would be possible breathing in a typical setting. The additional oxygen is used by your body to heal tissue and fight infections.

Most treatments are done on an outpatient basis. Patients can sleep, listen to music or watch movies in the chamber – all while a care team closely monitors your treatment.

Meet Our Team of Experts

Under the leadership of Laurie Gesell, MD, preeminent expert in the area of hyperbaric medicine and past president of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), Aurora’s multidisciplinary team of board-certified physicians offers a patient-centered approach combined with high-quality care.

We carefully listen to each patient and create a customized plan specific to individual needs.

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