Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Jackson will be starting Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in the next month or two, which is why I’m starting to look into it.

(Not all HBOT chambers look like this…not sure what Jackson’s will look like)

From http://recoveringsabrina.blogspot.com/
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT is a medical treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing process by providing 100% pure oxygen to a patient in a chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled.
Every cell of the body is dependent upon oxygen for the growth, repair, and preservation of cellular functioning. Oxygen is also crucial for proper and efficient healing of most injuries.
How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?
Throughout hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment, patients breathe 100% pure oxygen, which produces an increase in the amount of oxygen carried by the blood. The air we normally breathe only contains 19-21% of this essential element. The concentration of oxygen normally dissolved in the bloodstream is thus raised many times above normal – up to 2000%.  Under typical circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. However, because HBOT forces oxygen into the body under pressure, oxygen dissolves into all of the body’s fluids, including the plasma, the Lymph, and the cerebrospinal fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. These fluids can carry the extra oxygen even to areas where circulation is poor or blocked, either by trickling past the blockages or by seeping into the affected area. In this way, more oxygen can reach damaged tissues and the body has a greater opportunity to support its own healing.  Because HBOT enables more oxygen to be delivered to the organs and tissues in the body, a more efficient healing of a wide range of conditions may be possible.
Extra oxygen facilitates the healing process and enhances the body’s white blood cells’ ability to fight infection. It can promote the development of new capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that connect arteries to veins. It also helps the body build new connective tissue. Consequently, HBOT may assist the body’s organs in functioning more efficiently altogether.
How many treatments are needed?
Every patient is unique and individually evaluated according to their condition and response to therapy to determine the number of treatments needed. The average patient typically requires 30-40 treatments or dives, each of which lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Is HBOT for me?
HBOT is a non-invasive, painless, and effective treatment for a variety of conditions.
There are currently 13 conditions treatable with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, which are approved by the FDA in the U.S. However, there are numerous “off-label” uses for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy that doctors may prescribe, many of which are documented with scientific evidence that is stronger than that of the FDA approved conditions.
The following is a list of the 13 conditions that are FDA approved for treatment with HBOT.
These conditions are typically reimbursed by insurance and include:
Air or Gas Embolism
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Smoke Inhalation
Clostridial Myonecrosis (Gas Gangrene)
Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome, and other Acute Traumatic Ischemias
Decompression Sickness
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds
Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections
Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
Radiation Tissue Damage (Osteoradionecrosis)
Severe Anemia
Skin Grafts and Flaps (Compromised)
Thermal Burns
The following is a list of “off-label” conditions that are treated by medical professionals using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:
ADD/ADHD Chronic Fatigue Lyme Disease Retinitis Pigmentosa
ALS Chronic Inflammatory Disease Macular Degeneration Rheumatoid Arthritis
Alzheimer’s Crohn’s disease Meniere’s Disease Severed Limbs
Anoxic Brain Injury Decreased Immune Function Migraines Sickle Cell Crisis
Autism Diabetes Mitochondrial Disorders Spinal Cord Injury
Before and After Surgery Fibromyalgia Multiple Sclerosis Sports Injuries
Bell’s Palsy General Wellness and Prevention Near Drowning Stroke
Brown Spider Bites Heart Disease Post Electrocution Traumatic Brain Injury
Cancer Infections Raynaud’s Syndrome Trigeminal Neuralgia
Cerebral Palsy Immune Dysfunction Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Vascular Disease

Treating Autism with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) involves the therapeutic use of oxygen at higher than atmospheric pressure.  The increased level of oxygen at the level of tissues and organs resulting from HBOT explains its medical benefits in a variety of conditions including strokes, non-healing ulcers, burns, autism, and cerebral palsy. More specifically in autism, HBOT exerts a powerful anti-viral effect reducing inflammation in the brain and GI tract.  It has also been found to help with post-op healing, athletic performance/recovery, and mental acuity.

Questions and Answers:

Q:  Why is oxygen so important in the first place?

A:  Every day an average adult consumes four pounds of food, two pounds of water and almost 6 pounds of oxygen. People need about the same amount of oxygen by weight compared to food and water combined! From that six pounds of oxygen about 2 pounds gets into the blood for transport to tissue cells. We need this oxygen in order to complete the energy cycle that sustains life.

Q:  Is hyperbaric oxygen different from natural oxygen?

A:  Hyperbaric oxygen is natural oxygen, delivered in a pressurized chamber. The increased pressure does not change the molecular composition of oxygen. The increased pressure just allows extra oxygen to get into tissues above regular amounts.

Q:  What do you feel inside a hyperbaric chamber?

A:  Chamber atmosphere pressurization occurs slowly allowing you to adjust ear pressure changes. As the air pressure increases just yawn, swallow or “blow your nose” to clear pressure changes in your ears and you are “good to go”. Other than this, there are no unusual or different sensations.  Children with autism typically need 40-80 dives at 1.3-1.5 atm.

Q:  How does being inside a pressurized chamber give us more oxygen?

A:  When we sit inside a chamber pressurized at twice the normal air pressure it may not feel different, but we breathe double the number of molecules. Breathing pure oxygen in such a chamber gives us 10 times the regular amount of oxygen. In one hour we can inhale 2.4 pounds of oxygen! Red blood cells instantly fill with oxygen and the extra oxygen dissolves directly into the blood fluid. In a few minutes this extra oxygen builds up tissue oxygen levels far above normal. This action has been scientifically proven to stimulate healing. In order to raise tissue oxygen tension to 80 mmHg for optimal healing one must have oxygen delivered under increased atmospheric conditions. This is not a plastic bag but a solid chamber certified to safely hold the high pressure. How high? The pressure against a 30″ hyperbaric chamber hatch at 2 atmospheres has about 10 tons of pressure exerted against it!

Q:  What does HBO2 research show for children with autism?

A:  The initial research on autism shows significant improvements in blood perfusion to key areas of the brain. These changes are accompanied by improvements in behavior and cognitive function corresponding to those key areas of the brain.

Q:  Is there any reason to believe that the beneficial effects of HBO2 would continue beyond treatment endpoint? If so, approximately how long and why?

A:  Barr and Perrins published some observations on this matter in the Proc.11th International Congress 1995 (ISBN 0-941332-44-6). Briefly, they showed tissue oxygen partial pressure measurements that rose from near zero to 50 mmHg after some months long course of HBO2 were retained without further treatment for at least three years! They thought they were witnessing a vascular ‘medical disobliteration’. Whether this is due to recanalization of atrophied vessels or in-growth of neovasculature is open to question.

Summary of the effects of HBO2 both in acute and semi-acute and long-term neurologic conditions: 

HBO2 reduces any pressure within the brain caused by swelling, restoring the functions of the blood brain barrier and cell membrane; It neutralizes toxic products in the brain, and over a period of time, enhances growth of new blood vessels; It also acts as a scavenger of free radicals and promotes internal cleaning of debris; HBO2 also reduces the stickiness of blood products (white blood cells and platelets), and makes oxygen available for use without energy transfer (when the hemoglobin carries oxygen, it requires energy to deliver to the tissue spaces); With HBO2 the free oxygen is available immediately for metabolic use.

Important References For Autism and HBOT:

get adobe reader

articlespurplefinal Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Improve Symptoms In Autistic Children  (PDF)

By Dan Rossignol, MD

articlespurplefinal Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy with Autism Spectrum Disorders  (PDF)

By James A. Neubrander, MD

USAAA Conference, August 2007

articlespurplefinal Clinical Study: Mild Hyperbarics for Impaired Brain Function  (PDF)

By Dr. Gunnar Heuser, MD, PhD, FACP

articlespurplefinal THE PRESSURE POINT: Autism & Its Growing Hyperbaric Movement  (PDF)

International Hyperbarics Association, Inc. 

articlespurplefinal Hyperbaric Treatment For Children with Autism: A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial  (PDF)

By Dan Rossignol, MD


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