Anemia is a condition when a person is not having enough haemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells) in his/her blood to carry and supply oxygen to tissues, muscles and other parts of the body. Anemia may be a temporary condition in some and chronic in some people. Treatment for anemia depends on the type of anemia a person is suffering from. Sometimes blood transfusion may be an option but in some, that may not be an option due to incompatibility or other medical conditions. Anemia may be due to heavy periods in women, internal bleeding due to injury or trauma, red blood cells getting destroyed due to other medical conditions or bone marrow may not be capable of producing new red blood cells. In some types of anemia, family medical conditions also play a role.
Different types of anemia:
- Aplastic Anemia
- Iron Deficiency anemia
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Vitamin Deficiency Anemia
Symptoms of Anemia include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Pale or yellow skin
- Difficulty breathing / shortness of breath
- Cold hands and feet
- Irregular heart beat
- Feeling dizzy when standing
- Craving to eat unusual items such as clay, dirt etc.
Severe anemia can result in heart attack.
What happens in a hyperbaric chamber for people with Anemia?
In a hyperbaric chamber, 100% pure oxygen is filled at a pressure of 2.0 to 2.4 times the normal atmospheric pressure. As a result:
- More oxygen gets dissolved in the haemoglobin. As a result more oxygen gets supplied to tissues and other parts of the body. This speeds up the repair of damaged tissues and muscles in the body.
- Oxygen gets directly dissolved in the plasma. This removes the necessity to have substantial amounts of red blood cells in the blood.
Does HBOT Therapy help people with Sickle Cell Anemia?
The typical shape of red blood cells in the body is nearly round. In people suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia, the shape of red blood cells is in the shape of sickle or crescent moon. This shape restricts the free flow of cells in the blood and also they tend to stick together instead of moving through the body. As a result, the amount of oxygen that reaches the muscles and tissues is reduced and they start seeing the symptoms of anemia such as fatigue, dizziness etc. People with sickle cell anemia also report intense pain along with regular symptoms. Treating such patients with HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) has proven to supply more blood to all required parts of the body and also the patients reported lesser pain after the therapy.
HBOT as an alternative to blood transfusion in anaemic patients
As said earlier, blood transfusion is one option in people suffering from loss of red blood cells. However, due to other medical conditions or compatibility issues, transfusion may not be an option. In such conditions, HBOT comes to rescue by supplying the necessary amounts of oxygen to tissues and muscles in the body.
Why Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) is a 100% safe procedure. No other medication will be given to the person before or after the therapy. In many people, the results can be felt immediately. Undergoing HBOT for a series of sessions can improve not only the targeted medical condition but there are several other benefits that it can provide.