Hyperbaric Complications


4.7 out of 5 (35 Reviews)



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Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

1 Sep 2023

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is generally a relatively safe therapy for various conditions. However, there are some adverse side effects. When adverse, side-effect data was collected from 2009 through 2010 on patients treated in monoplace chambers, it showed side-effect rates estimated around 0.4%. About half of all adverse events fall under the category of "ear pain" and a quarter are classified as "confinement anxiety." When examining the complications of hyperbaric oxygen treatment, there are two categories: side effects of pressure and side effects of oxygen. The side effect of pressure is barotrauma, which can affect any closed, air-filled cavity (including but not limited to ears, sinus, teeth, lungs, and bowel). The side effects of oxygen can further be subdivided into three categories: pulmonary, neurologic, and ophthalmologic. Confinement anxiety is more an effect of the physical space of the chamber and not a true complication. This activity describes the complications of HBO and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in the evaluation and management of these patients.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Identify the issues of concern with HBO therapy.
  • Describe the complications of HBO therapy.
  • Summarize the management of HBOT complications.
  • Outline the interprofessional team strategies for improving care coordination and communication to advance the safe use of HBOT and improve outcomes.


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Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Nurses: StatPearls designates this activity for 1.00 ANCC contact hour(s). Nurses should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

Method of Participation and Credit

  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

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This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on statpearls.com. StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Unapproved Uses of Drugs/Devices: In accordance with FDA requirements, the audience is advised that information presented in this continuing education activity may contain references to unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please refer to the FDA-approved package insert for each drug/device for full prescribing/utilization information.

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