The COVID-19 virus has created an unprecedented challenges for our healthcare systems and communities.

In 2020 the virus caused high mortality rates at critical care facilities. As the science catches up to this novel virus, early clinical reports and anatomical findings show progressive hypoxemia as the main cause of deterioration in patients with COVID-19.

As hypoxemia progresses, “standard therapy cannot penetrate the diffusion barriers in the lungs because they are limited by ambient pressure.” (2)

Preliminary evidence is showing HBOT is not limited by these barriers and may improve these patients’ conditions, especially if intervention occurs at early stages.


Clinical studies support the following benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for those with COVID-19. For links to the clinical studies scroll to the bottom of this post.

  • Rapid relief of hypoxic symptoms (1)
  • Decreased chest pain (1)
  • Decreased dyspnea (difficulty breathing) (1)
  • General condition reversal (1)
  • Improved liver function and myocardial injury (1)
  • Improved lung pathology (1)
  • Gradual improvement of arterial blood gas (1)
  • Increased blood oxygen saturation (3)
  • Shown to be safe during mechanical ventilation (4)

If we extrapolate these observations to the COVID-19 situation, an early intervention before the need for mechanical ventilation could be of extraordinary utility for saving lives. In this regard hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) that consists of exposure to 100% oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure up to 2.4 atm could be a great resource to improve the outcome from the infection when it is administered at early stages as soon as a reduction of arterial oxygen concentration is detected.

Additional Reading:

Source: International Hyperbarics Association

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