Middle Ear Barotrauma in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Somdech Phra Pinklao Hospital, Naval Medical Department

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Pitchayapong Yanyongsatit
Pangrum Yongcharoen
Piti Khamonsri


        Middle ear barotrauma is the most common complication from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This is caused by the patient's inability to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the environment. This is a retrospective study characterized by middle ear barotrauma occurred in 942 patients during their treatments in the hyperbaric center of Somdech Phra Pinklao hospital from 2018 to 2020. The results showed a prevalence of pressure-related middle ear injuries of 25.5% which mostly occurred in 54.2% of females, and 55% of those were found in elderlies age over 60 years old. It was also found out that 42.7% of barotrauma occured mostly during the first treatment and usually at depth of 1 - 10 feet (48.5%). It was recommended to provide more awareness of these factors, especially for female and elderly patients. Furthermore, preparing the patients by informing about the treatment, teaching the equalization techniques, and taking the physical examinations before the hyperbaric oxygen therapy are the most important key to screen the high-risk patient and to take preventative action for middle ear barotrauma.


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