Patients in the United States receive over 100,000 treatments every year in monoplace hyperbaric chambers. Monoplace chambers
can be found in hospitals, outpatient facilities, and independent hyperbaric clinics. Many comprehensive woundcare clinics
are equipped with monoplace chambers.
Built by a few specialty manufacturing companies, monoplace hyperbaric chambers are Class II Medical Devices under US law and are
regulated by the US Food and Drug administration (FDA). The FDA, manufacturers, and medical organizations have defined
extensive rules and best practices for use of these devices.
- Before treatment the patient dons special clothing and brings nothing into the monoplace chamber.
- The patient lies flat or in a reclining position during monoplace treatment.
- Because 100% oxygen fills the chamber, the patient does not need to wear a mask or hood during treatment.
- Medical staff and caregivers remain outside the chamber during treatment.
- Treatment center staff communicate with patients through an intercom system.
- Pass-through ports in the chamber wall allow clinicians to attach electronic monitors, IV pumps, and other medical equipment.
- Patients can watch a video monitor positioned outside the chamber. Over the course of forty 90-minute treatments, entertainment
may be an important consideration for patient comfort.
Modern monoplace chamber designs have an excellent safety record. Patients in monoplace chambers are grounded, and the chamber itself
is grounded, to prevent sparks from static electricity. Modern monoplace chambers have emergency systems for quickly and safely decompressing
the chamber and flushing out pure oxygen with normal air.
Patients concerned about equipment safety can ask to see the treatment center’s routine maintenance and safety inspection records.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) affixes a metal identification plate on every hyperbaric chamber certified as a pressure
vessel for human occupancy (PVHO-1).
What's not a monoplace chamber
Inflatable devices, so-called “mild hyperbaric chambers”, do not operate at 1.5+ atmospheres of pressure and are not cleared for
use with 100% oxygen. They are not used by hospitals, outpatient facilities, or independent hyperbaric clinics and cannot provide the
required to deliver the therapeutic benefit identified by medical research.
Important Safety Precaution: Using medical oxygen
or oxygen concentrators with mild HBOT devices may create a fire hazard and may constitute an illegal
adulteration of a medical device.
The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) warns that hyperbaric treatment should not be self-administered or administered
in the home.