What is HBOT?
HBOT Uses
Evidence
Future Uses
Funding
The Diving Chamber Treatment Trust

Frequently Asked Questions


How will the charity work in practice?

Who refers clients?

On what basis will you assess if applicants are suitable for treatment?

Will any fees be charged?

What qualifications will the people giving treatment have?

How much does treatment cost?



How will the charity work in practice?

The two aims for the Diving Chamber Treatment Trust (DCTT) will be to promote hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to the media, doctors and the potential patients themselves. This will be done by informing the doctors about the results of the latest research coming from the EU and the USA.

Where appropriate, any good news stories as well as successfully treated HBO cases will be alerted to the main "medical" pages in the press, e.g Mail on Tuesday, Telegraph on Monday and the normal terrestrial channels.

Patients will kept informed about HBO research via patient groups and RSS web feeds.

This work will be done by voluntary persons keen to see this treatment working as it is side effect free, and in many cases better than "drug therapy". For example recent research from US metanalysis shows a mortality from necrotizing fasciitis (NF) of 4% when HBO is used WITH surgery and antibiotics as opposed to 24.5% when it is not. So our team will email this to all surgeons as well as approach patient groups dealing with NF.

The second aim is to fund treatment for those who cannot afford it. Currently HBO is routine practise in the US, with their insurance companies covering its use in 13 distinct clinical areas.

There are also many areas where it works which are still in ongoing research.

In the UK there is slow pick up of this as doctors simply do not know how useful it is. Also all NHS referrals have to approved by PCT committees before they will agree funding to treat. In many cases this takes too long for urgent cases, or they simply refuse to cover costs. This will change when GPs are in charge of their own budgets, but until then a charitable fund is needed to bridge funding gaps.

Finally in many cases of HBO treatment, it is part of a research or experimental use and so would need outside funding for this. This is an area the DCTT aims to be involved in.

Who refers clients?

Clients will come from NHS consultant referrals, as well as from patient groups and through the individual as well.

There are over 20 diving chambers that can provide HBOT in the UK alone. There are two in London. Patients if found to be appropriate for HBO will be referred to their nearest chamber for DCTT funded treatment.

On what basis will you assess if applicants are suitable for treatment?

They will be assessed by the doctor in charge at their nearest chamber. Their fitness for HBOT is assessed by making sure there are no contraindications to it (e.g. middle ear disease, lung disease, epilepsy or taking certain medications).

If they are "fit for HBOT" then the doctor will assess how many treatments will be needed, often from 10-40 depending on the illness. If the patient is unable to pay for the treatment or needs it sooner than a PCT can agree NHS funding then the DCTT will fund treatment.

Will any fees be charged?

The patient will NOT pay any fees to the chamber. The DCTT will pay for treatment costs to the chamber directly.

What qualifications will the people giving treatment have?

All doctors working at UK based diving chambers are already fully qualified in areas like General Practise or Anaesthesia. They will assess the patient and in combination with the patient apply for funding for treatment to the DCTT.

How much does treatment cost?

All UK chambers have a variety of fees that depend on:
  • how many other patients are being treated at the same time
  • the particular case
  • access to the chamber i.e lying down patients take more room than sitting and so decrease the amount of others that can be treated at the same time
  • how the oxygen is given- simple hood versus oxygen via tracheostomy
  • how many treatments are given
These range from £50 to £300 per treatment.

The DCTT will aim to pay for treatment at the lower end of this, e.g from £50 to £100 per treatment.

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