Thermal Burns

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Approval Status

Yes Clearance by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Yes Approval by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) [ 1 ]

About Clearance and Approval


Definition and Causes

A thermal burn is an injury caused by heat or fire. Damage to the skin and sometimes the mouth, throat, and lungs often worsens days after the incident. Burn injuries are prone to infection and swelling. Surgical removal of dead tissue and skin grafting may be required to promote healing.

Evidence Index

FDA cleared, widely reimbursed
Strong body of evidence
Repeatedly favorable results
Early or mixed results
Unfavorable or no evidence
Strong evidence against HBOT

Treatment with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT) is an adjunct to traditional treatments for thermal burns. HBOT slows the progression of skin and lung damage and reduces swelling. Therapy is considered safe even for patients with severe and extensive burns.

By helping the body fight infection, hyperbaric oxygen can improve healing, lessen damage from infection, and thereby decrease the chance of death associated with severe burns. Reducing the healing time for a burn can lessen scaring as well as improving the body's ability to fight infections.

[ 1 ] Note: The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society approval for thermal burns is limited to severe thermal injuries. As with any medical condition, the evaluation of the severity of a burn is best performed by a qualified physician.

Read the page Acute Thermal Injury in the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society Resource Library for information about thermal injuries; the rationale for hyperbaric oxygen therapy; and treatment protocols, key clinical evidence, and success factors.

Patient Resources

HyperbaricLink recommends the following websites for anyone seeking authoritative information, patient advocacy, and community support for osteomyelitis.

Wikipedia: Burn (injury)

The extensive Wikipedia entry on burns covers causes, severity, treatment, and outcomes.

Clinical Resources

Start with the following resources to explore current research activities and the peer-reviewed medical literature on hyperbaric oxygen therapy for thermal burns.

 Use the search buttons below to go directly to research on hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
US National Institutes of Health keeps the official list of human clinical trials currently enrolling, in progress, and recently completed. One may reasonably question the size and legitimacy of any study not listed here.


Google Scholar

A specialized Google search engine, Google Scholar indexes scholarly articles, patents, and legal opinions and journals. Google Scholar may produce many search results, but entries provide easy access to full-text journal articles.

Search Google Scholar


HBOEvidence uses computerized tools to appraise the key randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the hyperbaric medical literature. One may reasonably question the overall strength of HBOT evidence for any disease or condition not covered here.

Search HBOEvidence
US National Library of Medicine, US National Institutes of Health

PubMed keeps the official list of scientific papers published in reputable peer-reviewed medical journals. One may reasonably question the importance and legitimacy of any study not listed here.



News About Burns and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, HBO Indications, Acute Thermal Burn Injury. Retrieved 02 May 2015.
Page Data
Updated: 01 Aug 2015 03:58 PM
Created: 13 Jun 2009 12:00 AM
By: About the authors »