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COVID-19 + Hyperbarics

As we all know, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge for our healthcare systems and those working within it.

This virus has overrun our hospitals, as well as caused a high mortality rate within critical care facilities.

As more and more research about this novel virus is released from the science community, the findings are showing progressive hypoxemia (i.e., an abnormally low amount of oxygen in the blood), as the main cause for deterioration in patients with COVID-19.

Unfortunately, it is also being found that, "standard therapy cannot penetrate the diffusion barriers in the lungs because they are limited by ambient pressure." (1)

However, there is preliminary research showing hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not limited by the previously mentioned barriers and may help to improve patients' conditions, especially if intervention happens within the early stages.

The International Hyperbarics Association lists these as demonstrated benefits of HBOT:

  • Rapid relief of hypoxic symptoms (2)

  • Decreased chest pain (2)

  • Decreased dyspnea (difficulty breathing) (2)

  • General condition reversal (2)

  • Improves liver function and myocardial injury (2)

  • Improved lung pathology (2)

  • Gradual improvement of arterial blood gas (2)

  • Increases blood oxygen saturation (3)

  • Shown to be safe during mechanical ventilation (4)

Here is a direct link to further research regarding HBOT for COVID-19, as well as a video from Dr. Jason Sonners of HBOT USA in which he dives into this topic:

We also have a testimonial from a patient of ours that utilized HBOT for their symptoms of long-haul covid:

For any further questions or to get scheduled with HBOT, give us a call at 515-421-4002!

Please know that we are not making a claim in the treatment of active COVID-19 cases NOR long-haul covid patients. There is an article from Medscape that is calling hyperbaric treatments for long-covid a 'snake oil' treatment and we wish address that straight away. It is clear that we need more research on this topic. We need more clinical trials for HBOT and long-haul covid and more large scale trials. We also need to think creatively about treatment options for something that is brand new to our healthcare system and for which we have no perfect answer. Medscape article can be found here.


  1. Paul G. Harch. Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) respiratory failure. Medical Gas Research. 2020; 10: 61-62.;year=2020;volume=10;issue=2;spage=62;epage=62;aulast=Harch

  2. Naval Specialty Medical Center Program Team. Demonstration Report on Inclusion of hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment of Covid-19 Severe Cases.

  3. Antonio De Maioand Lawrence E. Hightower. COVID-19, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT): what is the link? Cell Stress Chaperones. 2020 May 18 : 1-4.

  4. Jacques Bessereau, Jerome Aboab, Thomas Hullin, Anne Huon-Cessereau, Jean-Luc Bourgeois, Pierre-Marie Brun, Sylvie Chevret, Djillali Annane. Safety of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Mechanically Ventilated Patients. 2017;68(1):46-51.

  5. International Hyperbarics Association. (2020). COVID-19 & Hyperbarics [Brochure]. International Hyperbarics Association.


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