Tension pneumothorax, commonly called a “collapsed lung”, is only absolute contra indication for HBOT therapy. Patients currently taking certain cancer medications, suffering from severe emphysema and those in end stage heart failure (with ejection fractions below 35%) are also not eligible for treatment. Those with high fever, active respiratory tract infection, sinus or Eustacian tube problems and seizure disorder should wait till recovery.
Utmost care is taken to educate patients about the techniques and importance of clearing their ears during the compression and recompression stages of hyperbaric oxygen treatment because of the potential for barotrauma or middle ear “squeeze”. Simply swallowing or yawning in order to equalize ear pressure (similar to being on an airplane during takeoff and landing) is an effective way to avoid this situation and protect the ears during these changes in pressure. Appropriate patient screening by our physicians and patient monitoring during treatment also helps to circumvent this condition.