The patients we see at Atlanta Hyperbaric who are referred for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury, are usually patients who are suffering the long, lingering effects of mild to moderate head trauma. Our typical patient was involved in a motor-vehicle accident that caused a concussion; although he seemed to recover initially, he now has cognitive or emotional symptoms such as mood changes, confusion, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking. Our patient has struggled with his situation and had difficulties with his job, family and friends. Someone finally suggested that perhaps hyperbaric oxygen might help. Thousands of these people are walking around and few have been referred for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
A new study came out last month that again showed the beneficial effect of hyperbaric oxygen for patients with traumatic brain injury. Sixty-nine patients with severe traumatic brain injury were randomized to a one-hour hyperbaric-oxygen treatment at 1.5 ATA for 3 consecutive days, 3 hours of 100% oxygen or standard care. Several sophisticated physiologic measurements were compared before, during and after treatment. Without going into detail, the authors were able to conclude that hyperbaric oxygen was generally more “robust” than 100% oxygen for brain metabolism and they could find no evidence for any toxicity of the hyperbaric treatment.
Followers of this blog should not be surprised by these findings: More scientific evidence that hyperbaric oxygen has a beneficial effect to patients with brain injury.