Seizures during hyperbaric oxygen therapy: Retrospective analysis of 62, 614 treatment sessions

A. Hadanny, O. Meir, Y. Bechor, G. Fishlev, J. Bergan, S. Efrati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Introduction: Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy is considered to be a generally safe therapy. However, data regarding seizure incidence during HBO2 therapy as a clinical presentation of central nervous system- (CNS) related oxygen toxicity are conflicting (ranging from 1:10, 000 to 1:600 seizures:hyperbaric sessions). The risk for seizures is of significant importance for the growing population of patients suffering from chronic neurological disorders such as traumatic brain injury and stroke who are treated with HBO2. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of seizures during HBO2 therapy in a large cohort of patients and determine whether patients with known chronic neurological disorders are at increased risk. Methods: Retrospective analysis of 2, 334 patients treated at the Sagol Center of Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Israel, between June 2010 and December 2014. Patients were grouped into one of three categories according to indication for HBO2 therapy: Category A- nonneurological indications; Category B - neurological indications; and Category C - acute indications. Results: A total of 62, 614 hyperbaric sessions, administered to 2, 334 patients, were included in the analysis. The overall incidence of seizures during hyperbaric sessions was 0.011% (1:8, 945), occurring in seven (0.3%) patients. Only one patient had a clear oxygen toxicity-induced seizure, with an overall incidence of 1:62, 614. Conclusions: Seizures induced by oxygen toxicity during HBO2 therapy are extremely rare. Moreover, in relation to oxygen-induced seizures, HBO2 therapy can be considered safe for patients suffering with chronic neurological disorders except for uncontrolled epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalUndersea and Hyperbaric Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016 Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.


  • Adverse effects
  • Central nervous system oxygen toxicity
  • Complications
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Hyperbaric oxygenation
  • Side effects


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