Healing Traumatic Injuries
Frequently used to augment surgical or medical treatments, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) assists the healing process in the following ways:
Encourages the development of new capillaries
Severe traumas can damage or destroy parts of the circulatory system and the tissues supported by that blood supply. Building robust new blood capillaries first requires the body to form fibroblast cells that produce collagen and other fibers. After re-establishing blood supplies, the body can begin to renew and restore damaged tissue. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy accelerates both of these processes.
The high oxygen levels in hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to kill dangerous bacteria like strep, staph or clostridium perfringens. The added oxygen also enables the bodys immune system to function better and fight off foreign organisms.
Effectively Treats Acute Battlefield Trauma and Other Crush Injuries
HBOT effectively treats acute battlefield trauma involving crush injuries and compartment syndrome, frequently reducing the need for amputation.
- Crush injuries damage normal tissue function, leading to increased tissue pressure, decreased capillary blood flow, lack of oxygen in local tissues, and tissue cell death.
- Compartment syndrome happens when pressures within skeletal muscle compartments build to dangerous levels. This pressure can restrict blood flow, which, in turn, prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching nerve and muscle cells.
HBOT reduces blood vessel swelling. This allows blood to flow more freely through injured tissues, supplying vital oxygen and nutrients and transporting cellular debris away. HBOT stimulates DNA to promote new tissue growth and initiates the production of repair hormones and proteins to heal and strengthen bones and grow new, healthy skin.
Heals Reperfusion Injury
Reperfusion injury refers to the tissue damage caused when blood supply returns to the tissue after a lack of oxygen or a period of insufficient blood supply. For instance, major blood vessel damage can occur through using tight tourniquets to stem massive bleeding before surgical repair. One hypothesis holds that a series of events inside of damaged cells can lead to the release of free radicals. These harmful molecules can cause irreversible tissue damage and cause blood vessels to constrict and stop blood flow. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments encourage the bodys scavengers to hunt down free radicals and allow healing to occur. Research shows HBOT is the only medical treatment known to nearly or completely reverse the process of reperfusion injuries.
Restores Blood Circulation
HBOTs hyper-oxygenation effect gives immediate support to tissues with compromised blood flow and can even be used as a blood substitute, pending a transfusion. Elevated pressures in the HBOT chamber led to a 10 to 15-fold increase in plasma oxygen concentration, permitting oxygen to spread beyond the blood capillaries by as much as four fold. Using HBOT in this way can buy time for patients, keeping their tissues viable until doctors and surgeons can take corrective measures or establish a fresh blood supply. Studies have shown that at 3 atmospheres of 100% oxygen, enough oxygen is dissolved in the plasma to sustain life, even if there are not sufficient red blood cells present. In fact, Jehovah Witness patients who refused blood transfusions for religious reasons have been kept alive with HBOT for weeks, until their bodies began to produce enough hemoglobin. Clearly, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be lifesaving for battlefield casualties awaiting transfusions.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injuries
HBOT reduces swelling and intracranial pressure associated with traumatic brain injuries. It improves both tissue oxygenation and cellular metabolism, as well as reducing blood vessel spasms. Researchers note that HBOT should be initiated as soon as possible after acute traumatic brain injury.
In one 1974 study, Hobach, Wassmann and Kolberg compared the results of HBOT on head-injured patients who were comatose with acute midbrain syndrome with the results for patients with the same condition in a control group. The HBOT patients showed a 55% reduction in mortality and 81% improvement in short-term outcome.
A 1992 study by SB Rockswold and others demonstrated a 47 percent reduction in mortality with a 59 percent reduction for patients with the most severe injuries. A 2001 Rockswold study showed a single HBOT treatment “improved brain metabolism and re-coupled brain blood flow and metabolism in the severely injured human brain FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND MEDICINE.”
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can restore both brain and body function, and it also frequently saves lives.
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- Healing Traumatic Brain Injuries with HBOT
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