Cryotherapy is a real facet of medical treatment that uses extremely low temperatures to help with pain and inflammation. Not to be confused with cryopreservation, in cryotherapy the patients are only subjected to the cold for minutes. It seems like something futuristic, but it is actually an increasingly common treatment among athletes to replace ice baths and ice pack therapies.
More specifically, cryogenic chamber therapy, or Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC), uses liquid nitrogen to cool a chamber to around -185oF. The patient spends a few minutes in the chamber wearing only a bathing suit, socks, gloves and facial protection (to prevent frostbite), allowing the skin temperature to drop while the core body temperature remains stable. This WBC treatment improves many types of muscle and joint pain and helps in the rehabilitation of injuries.
These cryotherapy systems are currently being used by sports teams such as the San Antonio Spurs, the LA Clippers, and the Minnesota Timberwolves, just to name a few. Everyone from Olympians, to rugby players, to non-athletes looking for pain relief utilize WBC. The super cooling power of liquid nitrogen can be a blessing to those in pain, but precautions need to be taken to assure this tricky chemical remains safe. In the event of a liquid nitrogen leak, the patient could suffocate from lack of breathable air. This is why an Oxygen Deficiency Monitor is important to have in any facility that uses liquid nitrogen.
PureAire Monitoring Systems provides a product that would be ideal for this type of application. Their Oxygen Deficiency Monitor that uses a sample draw system is one of the best in the industry, and can be hooked into an alarm or horn and strobe to alert the chamber operator and patients in case of a leak. The oxygen monitor can even be programmed to turn off the nitrogen tanks in the event of a leak in the system.
The O2 monitor would be situated outside the chamber. Through a tube, air samples from inside the chamber would be analyzed to make sure the oxygen level remains at a safe and breathable 20.9%. Any nitrogen leak would reduce the percent of oxygen and trigger an alarm. Because the oxygen deficiency monitor’s sensor lasts at least 10 years without maintenance, safety is guaranteed for many years to come. Cryogenic chamber therapy has the potential to help many people treat their pain, and with the use of an oxygen monitor, they can do so safely.