Contraindications – Where Not to Use HBOT utilizing Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers

The following conditions and medications may not be compatible with hyperbaric treatments utilizing hyperbaric chambers:


  • Pregnancy- while in some cases, women are able to receive treatment utilizing mild hyperbaric oxygen chambers, the contraindication is absolute for traditional hard-shell hyperbaric chambers
  • Congenital spherocytosis – a genetic disorder of the red blood cell membrane characterized by anemia, jaundice (yellowing) and splenomegaly (enlargement of the spleen)
  • Untreated pneumothorax – free air in the chest outside the lung that requires aspiration of the free air and/or placement of a chest tube to evacuate the air
  • Upper respiratory infections – These conditions can make it difficult for the patient to clear their ears, which can result in what is termed sinus squeeze.
  • Severe emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with either of these conditions may cease breathing if placed in a hyperbaric chamber because their lungs only breathe when it detects enriched levels of CO2.


  • Cis-Platinum– a chemotherapy agent most often used to treat lung cancer
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse®)– an oral tablet used to treat chronic alcoholism
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin®)– a medication used in cancer chemotherapy
  • Mafenicde Acetate (Sulfamylon®)– a topical cream used to prevent and treat bacterial or fungus infections (primarily from burns)

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