Soft or Hard Chamber?

Mild/Soft or Hard Shell Chambers

When shopping and comparing pricing for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, make sure to know the difference between a Medical Grade Hard Chamber and a Mild or Soft-Chamber. The difference is huge.
O2 Health Lab uses only Medical-Grade Hard-Shell Hyperbaric Chambers which feature full visibility plexiglass chambers that maximize a stress-free comfortable experience.

Medical Grade Hard-Shell Chamber

Mild/Soft Shell Chamber

What are the Critical Differences between Medical Grade Hard-Shell Hyperbaric Chambers and Mild or Soft Shell Chambers?

  • 1. Soft Chambers DO NOT PROVIDE THE SAME BENEFITS as Medical Grade Hard Chambers.

  • 2. For the cost, Mild or Soft Chamber DO NOT PROVIDE THE SAME VALUE PROPOSITION.

  • 3. Most Mild or Soft Chambers DOES NOT PROVIDE ENOUGH PRESSURE TO PUT A THERAPUTIC AMOUNT OF OXYGEN INTO SOLUTION (where the true benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy begin to happen).

  • 4. Selling Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy using a Mild or Soft Chamber can be “BAIT AND SWITCH.”

What is the difference between Hard and Mild or Soft HBOT – It’s basic math:

It’s the Pressure that is the critical difference.

Normally, you breathe around 21% oxygen at sea level.

Medical Grade Hard-Shell Hyperbaric chambers help the body circumvent the normal way oxygen is delivered to your body, and thereby increasing the delivery of oxygen to cells by up to 10 to 20 times the normal amount of Oxygen (up to 200% increase). This is what is required to attain the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

In contrast, Mild or Soft Chambers only increase oxygen intake from 21% to 26%, just 6.3% more than normal. As it is illegal for Mild or Soft chambers to be used above 1.3 ATA in the US, they are unable achieve necessary pressures to provide key benefits and their use is not considered Hyperbaric Medicine.

Some practitioners/companies who use, sell or lease Mild or Soft Chambers feature the research and scientific results that were based on Medical Grade clinical hyperbaric studies using ‘Hard,’ FDA approved chambers (1.5ATA+). Some Mild of Soft chamber companies have even been sanctioned by the FDA for making “fraudulent medical claims.”

What is the Value Proposition?

So, if you are receiving 6.3% more oxygen with a Mild or Soft Chamber vs. 200% more with a Medical Grade Chamber, you are receiving more than 30 times the amount of oxygen with a Medical Grade Chamber.

If Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is offered for around $250 a session, what should the equivalent Mild or Soft Chamber Session cost to receive the same benefit? Well take $250 and divide it by 30 and the equivalent cost should be about $8.33 a Session.

Mild or Soft Chamber sessions can run from $50 to $250.  When you compare that to $8.33 session, it’s not a great value proposition.

Medical Grade HBOT puts a Therapeutic Amount of Oxygen into Solution

Medical grade hyperbaric chambers allow for much greater pressure than soft or mild chambers and the pressure provides the benefits. With the greater pressure a therapeutic amount of oxygen is put into solution in the body. Over 200% more than atmospheric pressure according to Henrys Law.

This higher amount of oxygen leads to over 6,500 cellular mechanisms of action, including:

  • Upregulate Collagen Production

  • Upregulate Growth Factors

  • Increase Neuronal ATP

  • Enhance Mitochondria Production and Efficiency

  • Promote Neural Pathway Growth

  • Stimulate Aging Neurons

  • Downregulate Inflammation

  • Reduce Reperfusion Injury

Which Type of Chamber is Backed Up by Research?

Most Medical Studies supporting the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy are conducted using Hard-shell Hyperbaric Chambers and therefore DO NOT APPLY to Mild or Soft Chambers. We want our Client’s to be treated safely and properly, with expectations that their treatment is backed up by Science and hundreds of Medical Studies.

Key Facts on Facilities, Hard Chambers vs Soft Chambers

Mild or Soft Chambers are not a Recognized Medical Device

You will never find an Mild of Soft chamber in a hospital or reputable medical facility because they are NOT recognized as a medical device for Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment.

Mild or Soft Chambers are only approved to treat Altitude Sickness

Inflatable bag chambers are manufactured and recognized by the FDA as devices ONLY for the specific treatment of Altitude sickness (Mountain Sickness). They are not approved for any FDA Approved conditions such as Non-Healing wounds, Radiation damage, bone healing, and others. Inflatable chambers are NOT scientifically able to achieve the pressure required to treat these conditions.

It is Illegal to use Pure Oxygen in Soft Chambers

The connection or use of pure oxygen to a soft chamber is illegal, considered tampering and is deemed unlawful for any use according to the FDA. The use of any medical oxygen for breathing requires a prescription from a registered physician– MD or DO.

Soft Chambers can expose Clients to Toxic Inhalation

Will you put yourself or your family at risk, both medically and legally, just to save a little money? Some Mild or Soft chambers are made with rubber, plastic and petroleum products which off-gas in oxygen environments and expose those inside of them to toxicity by inhalation.

Inadequate pressure allows possible exposure to Bacterial Infection

Scientific studies show that oxygen becomes bacteriostatic (stops bacteria from reproducing) at 1.5ATA (16fsw). As Mild or Soft chambers cannot achieve internal pressures over 1.3 ATA, it cannot kill bacteria but will enhance the growth of certain molds, fungus and aerobic bacteria.

Look for Trained, Certified Hyperbaric Medical Technicians

Reputable Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy facilities have Nationally Certified Hyperbaric Technicians, who have been educated, tested and who have done an extensive supervised internship in the clinical setting of an accepted medical grade hyperbaric program to be certified by a third-party organization. Each technician must also be an EMT, an RN, a physician or a military medic. No such certification or standards apply to soft chambers or those that operate them.

Are the Technicians Trained for an Emergency if you or your loved one has a medical emergency in the device?

Most Mild or Soft chambers are not certified as PVHO-1 (Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy) devices by the ASME. This means they do not have the qualifications necessary to meet National quality and safety. American Society of Mechanical Engineers Safety Standard for Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy, 2002.

Does the Facility Follow Fire Codes?

Many inflatable chamber facilities do not follow Fire Codes, likely because the guidelines endorse and specifically relate to ‘Hard’ shelled, medical-grade hyperbaric chambers. Since 1968, these guidelines have helped keep Hyperbaric Treatments safe and effective. All medical grade Hyperbaric chambers must be properly grounded and retrofitted for earthquake safety, soft chambers are not. It is also illegal to have carpet in a hyperbaric facility treatment area.

O2 Health Lab HBOT Chambers