March – Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness

Almost 2 million people obtain a Traumatic Brain Injury in the US each year.Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of brain injury caused by sudden damage to the brain. Depending on the source of the trauma, TBIs can result in either open or closed head injuries.

  • Open Head Injuries : Occur when an object (i,e. a bullet) enters the brain and causes damage to specific brain parts. Symptoms vary depending on the part of the brain that is damaged.
  • Closed Head Injuries: These injuries result from a blow to the head (i.e. when the head strikes the windshield or dashboard in a car accident, blast injuries for soldiers, even PTSD).

TBIs result in two types of damage to the brain: primary brain damage , which is the damage that occurs at the time of impact (e.g., skull fracture, bleeding, blood clots), and secondary brain damage , which is damage that evolves over time after the trauma (e.g., increased blood pressure within the skull, seizures, brain swelling).

Brain Injury has no known treatment other than hyperbaric oxygen, however, research regarding the validity of hyperbaric oxygen is advancing rapidly and the results look good. Evidence shows that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be very helpful in the care of patients with various forms of brain injury and PTSD. Over the past few years, the evidence has been accumulating on two fronts under IRB-approved protocols and now, two milestones have been reached. The International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation, www.nbirr.org, has conducted an observational study in which over 70 brain injured veterans have been treated without any reported adverse event.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often leads to devastating results not because of the initial blow to the head, but instead because of the inflammatory processes that follow as a consequence of the hit. Thus, preventing or slowing the inflammation that occurs after the trauma to the head can vastly improve patient outcomes. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown in animal models to reduce this inflammation and thereby protect the brain from significant damage. Now, scientists help clarify exactly how HBOT has this advantageous effect on the brain. This new research was recently published in the journal Neuroimmunomodulation .

The scientists used four groups of mice: one without injury and without HBOT, one without injury with HBOT, one with TBI without HBOT, and one with TBI with HBOT. They expected that the final group, which had both TBI and the HBOT intervention would show significant differences in performance and in physiology before and after the treatment, whereas the other groups tested at different time points would not show these differences.

As expected, the researchers found that HBOT led to better motor performance and lower brain swelling, known as edema, in the group of mice that had TBI. After HBOT, these mice also had lower protein expression of elements that contribute to inflammation.

These findings corroborate previous findings that HBOT is a beneficial intervention for TBI and help explain exactly how HBOT confers its positive impact on a traumatically injured brain. Future research will help identify the best ways to use this therapy to help patients who suffer trauma to the head.

For further research, see the following:

https://medicalgasresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2045-9912-4-18

https://www.bethesdahbot.com/brain-injury-and-hbot/

Tetralogy of Fallot

What is tetralogy of the heart?

(From Heart.org)

A heart defect that features four problems.

They are:

  • a hole between the lower chambers of the heart
  • an obstruction from the heart to the lungs
  • The aorta (blood vessel) lies over the hole in the lower chambers
  • The muscle surrounding the lower right chamber becomes overly thickened

We are elated to share with you, how Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helped this child.

My son, Ollie, was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot in 2012. Thanks to excellent medical care provided by his cardiologist and surgeons, Ollie lived a very happy and normal life until just a few months before his fourth birthday. We began noticing changes in Ollie’s energy and comfort levels in February of 2016, and he lost interest in play and activities he once loved, like running and karate. His second open-heart surgery was scheduled for November of 2016. I was referred to Mark Westaway at Hyperbaric Oxygen Institute by a family friend that knew I was interested in doing whatever I could to promote wellness and healing for my son. This surgery came with many of the same concerns as the first: infections, organ damage from poor oxygen circulation, and discomfort and inflammation. An added concern we faced was that the incision would have to go through his old scar and scar tissue is less predictable.
I was informed that hyperbaric oxygen therapy before and after surgery is known to improve circulation, decrease pain and inflammation, speed up the recovery process, and has antimicrobial properties. When we brought Ollie in for the first time to meet Mark, he was warm and kind. Ollie was relaxed in the chamber. I held him on my lap as he watched a movie. During the process, Ollie asked to hold his own mask. I listened to him take deep, intentional breaths of oxygen even before being directed to. I asked him how he felt after the treatment and he smiled and said, “really good”. When we returned home, he laid down for less than an hour and then his energy jumped back up to levels I hadn’t seen for almost a year. He had another treatment on the Saturday before his surgery. Directly after the surgery, I took him to a family party where he was able to keep up with the other children. Although I was worried and kept a watchful eye on him, he did not complain about being tired and did not mention a pain in his chest like he would have, playing that hard. He had two more sessions before his surgery, and he was much more like his playful self.
During his surgery, we were told to expect a longer time frame than his first because of the scar tissue. However, we were approached two hours before even the earliest estimated time that his surgery was complete. I believe that this was due to both his incredibly talented surgeons and the healing his scar tissue received during HBOT.
His recovery period was absolutely a best-case-scenario. He regained his desire to walk on his own and his appetite rapidly. He was admitted for surgery on Wednesday and was discharged on Sunday afternoon, after only four days of recovery. His incision healed quickly without complications.
About six weeks after the surgery we resumed treatments at Hyperbaric Oxygen Institute. Ollie is bright and full of energy and I will continue to bring him for treatments because I see immediate and long-term results. I can’t thank my friend enough for suggesting HBOT and Mark for his knowledge, kindness, and his enthusiasm in educating me on the benefits and research on HBOT.
Victoria O –

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. As part of our ongoing series with the healing power of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy we want to go over a little about National Colorectal Cancer.

Early cases can begin as noncancerous polyps. These often have no symptoms but can be detected by screening. For this reason, doctors recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 50.

Colorectal cancer symptoms depend on the size and location of the cancer. Some commonly experienced symptoms include changes in bowel habits, changes in stool consistency, blood in the stool, and abdominal discomfort.

Colorectal cancer treatment depends on the size, location, and how far the cancer has spread. Common treatments include surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

As always, while only Medical Doctors can diagnose and treat Cancer, we highly recommend viewing the video series “The Truth About Cancer” available here and we love Dr. Coneally’s book The Cancer Revolution.

So, how does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy fit in with Cancer and Cancer Treatments?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help patients with injuries that occurred following radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy has improved tremendously. It targets tumors more accurately and minimizes damage to the surrounding tissue. However, even with those advancements, the normal tissue surrounding the tumor may be impacted, which may cause new symptoms. It is important to note:

  • Injuries from radiation are not usually identified by the radiation oncologist because they may occur months and even years after radiation therapy.
  • Damaged tissue breaks down over time. Healing the damaged tissue requires a safe and effective medical intervention.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is the only modality to target and repair damaged tissue caused by radiation treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is recognized by the FDA for a number of medical conditions , all of which are generally covered by insurance. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is FDA approved for latent or internal radiation injuries and has been successful with many patients experiencing symptoms following radiation treatment.

There are several types of latent radiation injury, which include:

  • Radiation Cystitis or Prostitis (Bladder Cancer or Prostate Cancer): Some patients complain of urinary frequency, pain, burning or bleeding.
  • Bowel Problems or Bleeding after Colon Cancer and Radiation: Diarrhea, urgency, incontinence, and rectal bleeding are common symptoms.

A 2013 study titled “Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment in Radiation-Induced Cystitis and Proctitis: A Prospective Cohort Study on Patient-Perceived Quality of Recovery,” concluded that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be an effective and safe treatment modality for late radiation therapy-induced soft tissue injuries in the pelvic region. According to the study, symptoms were alleviated in 76% of patients with radiation cystitis, 89% of patients with radiation proctitis, and 88% of patients with combined cystitis and proctitis. The improvement was sustained at follow-up in both domains 6 to 12 months after receiving Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. No severe side effects related to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy were observed, according to the study.

How does HBOT work?

There are numerous processes the body undergoes in order to heal injuries, such as stem cell production, gene expression, white blood cell enhancement, new capillary (blood vessel) growth.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy supports these healing processes and the immune system as it works to ward off challenges to the body’s health.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy drives oxygen further into the body’s tissue which promotes healing. Oxygen is transported into the red blood cell and saturates the plasma of the blood, which delivers 10 to 14 times the amount of oxygen to the tissues.

Hyperbaric Oxygen provides the body with the oxygen nutrients that are required to promote healing and recovery.

To find out more about how hyperbaric oxygen can help you or a loved one heal after radiation, or if you have any questions, please fill out a contact form to your right – or call us at the number above.