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Risks and Benefits Documentation

Risks and Benefits Documentation

Risks and Benefits Documentation


Risks and Benefits for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

At the time of initial consultation, the risks and benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy should be discussed with the patient. The benefits include raising the tissue oxygen levels in order to enhance healing of difficult wounds or to reverse the toxic effects of chemicals and inhaled gases.

Potential risks include ear, sinus, tooth, or pulmonary barotraumas. This can result in pain and discomfort in the ears, sinuses, or teeth, and rarely a pneumothorax of the lung. There are several potential eye changes, most commonly slight worsening of far vision with the improvement of near vision. This is reversible without intervention in most cases. Rarely, certain types of cataracts may mature more quickly than in patients not treated with hyperbaric oxygen. There is a remote risk of fire.

It is necessary to discuss the list of prohibited items that will not be allowed into the chamber at any time. This list of items reduces the risk of catastrophic fire. In addition, the risk of oxygen toxicity that can be manifest as a seizure or lung changes should be discusses. The risks and benefits must be explained in detail.  The risk of confinement anxiety and various methods to manage that, should it occur should also be discussed with the patient. The patient should be informed that hyperbaric treatments may need to be terminated in severe cases of confinement anxiety.

The patients verbalized understanding of the discussion and the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered satisfactorily should be documented in the patient record. Additional education that is provided to each patient by the nursing and technical staff of the hyperbaric chamber should be documented as well as, the opportunity for the patient to ask questions at any time. Verbal acknowledgement of this understanding and consent for treatment must be obtained prior to treating the patient in the hyperbaric chamber.

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NOTE: This is a controlled document. This document is not a substitute for proper training, experience, and exercising of professional judgment. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents, neither the authors nor the Wound Reference, Inc. give any guarantee as to the accuracy of the information contained in them nor accept any liability, with respect to loss, damage, injury or expense arising from any such errors or omissions in the contents of the work.
Topic 1178 Version 1.0