hallway with reflections on the wall at hyperbaric chamber decompression chamber for hyperbaric treatments in hyperbarics medicine unit

Hyperbaric Medicine

Hennepin Healthcare has been providing hyperbaric oxygen for patient care and research continuously since 1964. We are one of the few of institutions in the US providing 24/7 availability of hyperbaric oxygen for emergency patients.

Patient Guide

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen is a specialized medical treatment during which you breathe 100 percent oxygen from a mask or hood while you are inside a chamber room. Inside the chamber room, the atmospheric pressure is higher than normal. Our chambers are large enough for four to eight patients to receive treatment in one room at the same time.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment involves exposing high concentrations of oxygen to your blood and tissues. This happens when you breathe 100 percent oxygen inside the pressurized chamber. Certain types of infections, tissue injuries, and poisonings can be treated effectively with hyperbaric medicine.

Hyperbaric Treatments

What conditions are treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment?

Hyperbaric oxygen has been used safely and effectively for more than 50 years to treat certain medical conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning, gas gangrene, and decompression sickness, also known as diver's bends.

In the last 3 decades, hyperbaric oxygen has been effective in treating several other conditions, including, for example, bone infection that has not responded to customary treatment, damage to tissues from radiation therapy, crush injuries, diabetic foot ulcers, non-healing surgical sites, and tissue grafts and flaps that aren’t healing well. 

Hyperbaric oxygen is also used to resolve critical medical conditions such as:

  • gas gangrene
  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • cerebral arterial gas embolism
  • decompression sickness (the "bends")
  • necrotizing fasciitis
  • sudden sensorineural hearing loss
  • compromised skin flaps or grafts
  • refractory osteomyelitis
  • osteoradionecrosis
  • delayed soft tissue radiation injury, and
  • foot ulcers in diabetic patients.
Dive Medicine at Hennepin

Dive Medicine at Hennepin Healthcare

Dr Logue DivingDive Physicals for SCUBA divers at all levels.

Hennepin Healthcare‘s Undersea Hyperbaric and Medical Society board-certified physicians are Minnesota’s most knowledgeable diving medicine doctors. In addition, all are members of the International Diving Medical Advisory Committee.

  • Recreational sport diving physical examinations.
  • Commercial divers including ADCI and other recognized standards.
  •  Rescue personnel medical examination requirements.
  • Diving injury assessment and treatment.
  • Decompression sickness assessment and treatment.

Divers’ physical exam may include:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Chest x-ray
  • Ear clearing techniques
  • Video otoscopy

Frequently Asked Questions

Your doctor will need to make a request to the hyperbaric physician for consultation on your case. Then you may make an appointment for this consultation.

Most patients are treated once a day, 5 days a week. Emergency patients are treated when they need it, regardless of the day or time. Depending on your condition, the hyperbaric medicine physician will determine the number of treatments you need, as well as the duration of each treatment and the atmospheric pressure during the treatment.

During the treatment you will rest comfortably in your chair in the hyperbaric chamber. There are usually several patients in the room with you and there is always a medical attendant in the chamber also. The chamber is filled with pressurized air and you will breathe oxygen. Most treatments last about 2 hours.

During treatment, patients may read a book, do crossword puzzles, listen to music, or sleep. At the beginning of each treatment, you will feel the air pressure changes in your ears. You will receive instruction on how to equalize ear pressure prior to starting treatment. There are no unusual sensations associated with breathing 100 percent oxygen. "Air breaks" are given every 30 minutes and water is available to drink during these breaks. You will feel just as good at the end of the treatment as you did at the beginning. Treatment does not interfere with the ability to work or drive. 

Your physician consultation at Hennepin Healthcare will include a complete review of your medical history and medical records, a physical examination, a recommendation for or against hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and detailed explanation of the benefits and risks of this treatment. You are encouraged to bring a current list of all your medications and to bring a family member with you. In most cases, you will not have a hyperbaric treatment on this day. A chest x-ray and some laboratory tests will be required before your first treatment. These may be done at your own physician’s office.

If you have questions, need to cancel an appointment, or have problems, call the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine at 612-873-7420 and ask to speak to a nurse. If you need to talk to a hyperbaric physician, the nurse will arrange that for you.

Hyperbaric Medicine Clinic

Purple Building
7th Street and Park Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Clinic hours:
7:30 am - 4:00 pm, M-F
Hyperbaric emergency services are available 24/7/365

Outpatient referral appointments: 612-873-7420
Inpatient referral: Hennepin Connect, 612-873-4262 or 1-800-424-4262

Our facility

hallway with reflections on the wall at hyperbaric chamber decompression chamber for hyperbaric treatments in hyperbarics medicine unit

hyperbaric medicine accreditation logo for hyperbaric chamber decompression chamber for hyperbaric treatmentsThe facility meets all applicable ASME, NFPA, ISO, and FDA regulations. The Hyperbaric Medicine program at Hennepin Healthcare was recertified by the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) "with distinction" in 2010, and again in 2022 (these certifications last four years). All facility personnel are certified in hyperbaric medicine within their job class. The technicians who operate the chambers are certified hyperbaric technicians and certified as caregivers at least to the EMT or DMT level; the nurses are RNs experienced in critical care and certified as hyperbaric nurses; the physicians are board certified in Emergency Medicine and subspecialty certified by ABMS in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.

Hyperbaric Medicine is “Reaccredited – Level One - with Distinction” from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, 2022.

Hyperbarics in the News

Center for Wound Healing

An interdisciplinary clinical team and cutting-edge technology offer advantages to patients with diabetic ulcers and non-healing wounds

Research and Education

The Center for Hyperbaric Medicine is at the forefront of research to develop new applications for hyperbaric treatement