Sketch of Hyperbaric Chamber

Maintaining Pressure in Hyperbaric Therapy

Hyperbaric Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure, 100% oxygen in a pressurized environment inside a sealed chamber. It is common for treating a long list of medical conditions, including:

  • Decompression sickness
  • Severe anemia
  • Traumatic brain injury or brain abscess
  • Burns
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Sudden deafness
  • Gangrene
  • Skin or bone infection where there is tissue death
  • Radiation exposure
  • Skin graft
  • Sudden vision loss

In a hyperbaric chamber, the air pressure is increased 2 to 3 times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, the lungs can gather much more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. This extra oxygen helps fight bacteria and also triggers the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

The role of pressure sensors in hyperbaric chambers

As hyperbaric chambers monitor pressure, pressure sensors are critical in hyperbaric care. Specifically, pressure sensors are used to:

Monitor and control the pressure inside the chamber during hyperbaric therapy sessions: sensors measure the air pressure inside the chamber to ensure it is at the correct level for the specific therapy being applied. If the pressure falls outside of the safe limits, the sensors can trigger an alarm. Typically, this is accomplished via absolute pressure sensors.

Control the airflow into the chamber: sensors can adjust the pressure of the incoming air and/or regulate the flow of oxygen into the chamber. If the flow falls below the required level, it can indicate a blockage or other obstruction that can affect the therapy or possibly have a harmful impact on the patient. This is implemented by either differential pressure sensors (measuring the pressure between two points) or gauge pressure sensors (measuring the pressure relative to the environment).

Monitor patient vital signs: sensors can continually monitor vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate. This can confirm that the therapy is being tolerated well by the patient. This is measured via gauge pressure sensors.

Superior Sensor Technology’s Solutions for Hyperbaric Chambers

Ideally suited for hyperbaric chambers, Superior Sensor’s ND Series measures differential, gauge and absolute pressures from as low as 62.5 pascal to as high as 150 psi. Having an expanded operating temperature range to go along with the industry’s lowest noise floor and the ability to support up to 7 factory calibrated pressures in one device, the ND Series is ideal for the most demanding monitoring applications, including hyperbaric care.

The ND Series provides a new level of integration combining an advanced piezoresistive sensing element with integrated amplification, ADC, DSP and interface which greatly simplifies design and integration efforts. Advanced digital processing enables new functionality. Furthermore, this highly integrated solution simplifying system development and manufacturing while increasing product reliability.

There are several optional capabilities than can be integrated into the sensors, including closed loop control, advanced digital filtering and a 3-mode pressure safety switch. With all these advanced capabilities, the ND Series is more than a pressure sensor – it is a complete pressure sensing sub-system.

The ND Series consists of three product families:

  1. The ND Series Low Pressure products are a family of differential/gauge pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±62.5 Pa to as high as ±7.5 kPa.
  2. The ND Series Mid Pressure products are a family of differential/gauge pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±0.5 psi to as high as ±150 psi.
  3. The ND Series Absolute products are a family of absolute pressure sensors that measure pressures from 15 psia to 150 psia.

Availability

All the ND Series sensors are in production and available through Digi-Key and Mouser.

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