Precautions to Take Before Treatment
Prior to undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you must notify the HBOT technician of any cold or flu symptoms. These illnesses can prevent you from benefiting from oxygen, so HBOT may need to be postponed until symptoms have subsided. It is also important to inform your HBOT technician of all medications you are currently taking since not all are compatible with hyperbaric oxygen therapy and may result in side effects if used concurrently with the HBOT treatment. In addition, special precautions must be taken for HBOT patients who are taking insulin, pain medication, tranquilizers, high doses of prednisone, and other corticosteroids and anticoagulants. Your doctor or nurse will explain all necessary precautions. You must also refrain from the use of tobacco in any form including cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, and chewing tobacco until the therapy is complete. Tobacco use drastically decreases the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Prior to therapy, discuss all cosmetics and skin care products you use with the HBOT technician to ensure safety. Cosmetics, hairspray, nail polish, perfumes, and lotions with a petroleum, alcohol, or oil base are strictly prohibited while in the chamber, but may be applied after each treatment. All hair and wound care products that are potentially flammable must also be removed, as well as all nylon or polyester clothing, jewelry, dentures, contact lenses, and prosthetic devices. Patients are provided with a cotton gown to wear in the chamber during treatment. Pure oxygen can cause a fire if a source of ignition is present. Therefore, you must avoid bringing any lighters or battery-powered devices into the chamber.