Current Situation of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Japan
1Hyperbaric Medical Center, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in Japan started in the 1950’s for research and clinical use. The Japanese Society of Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine (JSHUM) was established and their first meeting in Japan was held in 1966. In 2018, the number of the member of JSHUM was increase over 1100.
Forty-five multiplace chambers and 600 monoplace chambers are settled in Japan, and the total number of HBOT therapy is estimated as 156, 600 times in 2018. The Japan is located being surrounded by the sea, and many patients with decompression illness (DCI) was treated with HBOT, and diving medicine was developed being reported by many articles concerning DCI from Japan.
The application of HBOT is covered by public medical insurance within the indications including air gas embolism, DCI, carbon monoxide poisoning, severe soft tissue infection, including gas gangrene and necrotizing soft tissue infections, Intracranial abscess, severe thermal burn injury and frostbite, crush injuries and skeletal muscle-compartment syndromes, cerebral embolism, severe traumatic brain injury, consciousness disturbance or brain edema after craniotomy, severe hypoxic encephalopathia, ileus, Central retinal artery occlusion, idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss, malignant tumor combined with radiation or chemotherapy, selected problem wounds and ulcer, skin graft, spinal nerve disorder, osteomyelitis, and late radiation injury.
The application of HBOT is covered by public medical insurance, and the fee for air gas embolism and DCI within 1 month from the onset is 50,000 JPY and the fee for others is 30,000 JPY with number of treatment times limited, which tremendously increased compared to the fee of 2,000 JPY before April in 2018.
As for sports-related injuries, the application of HBOT is not covered by public medical insurance, however, this indication can be promising for HBOT not only in Japan, but in the world.