Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Affinity Health System offers healing hyperbaric oxygen treatment, available at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton - with 24 hour emergency care.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a painless procedure that uses 100 percent oxygen to aid your body’s healing process. Oxygen treatments reduce swelling and increase oxygen content in the body’s cells, helping damaged tissues heal faster.

For more information about hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Affinity Health System, please call (920) 738-2751 or 1-800-223-7332.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is useful for treating:

  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • radiation-damaged tissue
  • decompression illness (bends)
  • crush injuries
  • wounds that won’t heal
  • gas gangrene
  • air or gas embolism
  • osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • skin grafts and flaps
  • burns
  • necrotizing soft tissue infections

Ascension physicians certified in hyperbaric medicine work with your physician to plan your hyperbaric oxygen therapy. We use an advanced technology called transcutaneous oxygen assessment, or T-COM, to measure the amount of oxygen getting to your skin. The results help determine the best treatment program.

Preparing for hyperbaric oxygen treatment

Only a few preparations are necessary before you begin hyperbaric oxygen therapy:

  • Nicotine interferes with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, so you should not use any form of tobacco, even at home, during the treatment period
  • Do not use any products with a petroleum or alcohol base (including makeup, lotion, hairspray, nail polish, perfume, deodorant and more), before a hyperbaric oxygen treatment. To ensure safety, talk with your nurse about specific products.
  • If you have symptoms of cold or the flu (for example, fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting), please tell the nurse. We may postpone treatments until symptoms subside.

The hyperbaric oxygen treatment procedure

Each treatment will last approximately an hour and a half. When you arrive, we’ll give you 100 percent cotton pajamas to wear (nylon and polyester aren’t allowed in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber). You’ll also remove your watch, jewelry, contact lenses and any other prosthetic devices before treatment.

During treatment, you enter a clear acrylic pressurized chamber. Oxygen will begin to circulate, and pressure in the chamber increases. This compression period lasts 10 to 15 minutes. You may feel fullness or “popping” in your ears. You can relieve the pressure by swallowing and moving your jaw. Once the chamber reaches the prescribed pressure, the sensation in your ears will stop.

You may rest, sleep or watch television throughout your treatment. A specially-trained nurse will remain with you and monitor your treatment. A two-way intercom allows you to talk with the nurse at any time.

When your treatment is almost over, the pressure in the chamber will gradually decrease. During this decompression, you will again feel the “popping” sensation in your ears.


Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital
1611 S. Madison St.
Appleton, WI  54915


Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., plus 24-hour on-call.

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1506 S. Oneida St
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 738-2000

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