Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Introduced by Brummelkamp & Boerema86 in 1960 for treating gas gangrene, HBO is still a matter of debate even though its effects are clearly identified and many authors have reported its clinical effectiveness.

Since the end of the 1980's and the appearance of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), an extensive process for revising and assessing medical practice has begun. This has concerned HBO together with many other forms of therapy. The authors agree that up to now, there are no doubleblind randomized clinical studies providing A or B level recommendations for the use of HBO for acute soft tissue anaerobic infections. Nor are there any such studies for surgery or antibiotic therapy. But, considering the large body of experimental and clinical studies published in the literature and their own experience, the jury of the ECHM Consensus Conference in 1994 and 2004 evaluated the use of HBO in anaerobic soft tissue infection as a type 1 recommendation based on the consensus of experts (level C).

We report here a summary of evidence supporting the use of HBO in the treatment of acute soft tissue anaerobic infections.

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