Illustration for article titled HBOT Therapy: A Non-Traditional Treatment Method for Kids with TBI and CP em/em

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT Therapy has been used to provide relief to divers suffering from decompression sickness since the early 1960s’.

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However, there has been a sudden upsurge in the incidence of HBOT being prescribed to kids with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Cerebral Palsy (CP) in the State of California during the last decade.

Here are two cases that present a clear perspective on the efficacy of HBOT therapy whilst treating kids with TBI and CP:

#Connor’s case was extremely complex as he was afflicted with neurological injuries during his birth. Doctors ruled out any possibility of the child surviving this condition. Amy Grady, Connor’s mother was distraught but never gave up hope for her son’s recovery. She immediately consulted a top hyperbaric expert and enrolled Connor into an HBOT program.

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Connor’s response to his first ever HBOT session was remarkable as he soon started kicking his legs and eventually began playing on his mat.

This instilled a fresh ray of hope into Amy about Connor’s future, as she felt that this was a new lease on life for her precious child.

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#Robert Boytim was always a little bundle of energy and zest. This happiness, however, was very short-lived as Robert slipped into a pond in his backyard and almost drowned. His sister rescued him and called emergency medical services immediately. The EMS tried CPR on the boy for almost forty-five minutes to help him revive but met with little success. They then shifted him to a hospital in the vicinity.

The hospital staff managed to resuscitate Robert but the prognosis from the doctors was not very favorable. The doctors informed William Boytim, Robert’s father, that his son would never recover from his near-vegetative state due to TBI.

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William refused to accept defeat and decided to consult a popular hyperbaric specialist. Robert was in a painful physical condition wherein his body was arched backward and his posterior was just eight inches away from the back of his head.

The specialist immediately prescribed HBOT therapy for Robert. After the initial two sessions of HBOT, William was ecstatic to see that his son had recovered his normal posture and was able to move his arms and legs and laugh out loud!

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What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI is a medical condition that can occur due to complications during birth or impact to the brain if a child sustains a fall or collision whilst playing any contact sport, near drowning cases, or motor accidents. A sizeable number of army veterans are also known to suffer from TBI due to head injuries sustained on the battlefield.

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With over ten million individuals being affected by TBI in the United States annually, this affliction has become a major cause for concern for the medical community. These alarming statistics have prompted the doctors in California to recommend alternative treatment solutions such as HBOT therapy to children with TBI or CP.

According to medical experts, TBI occurs due to the deprivation of oxygen and affects certain critical parts of the brain that enable the basic functioning of cognitive abilities such as speech, memory, motor skills and other communicative capabilities.

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TBI can be classified into three pathophysiological states, namely:

  • Acute phase: The child goes through this phase within the first 24 hours of the injury.
  • Subacute phase: This is the stage that occurs a few days after impact.
  • Chronic phase: This phase can resurface several days or weeks after the head injury.
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TBI is also known to cause other related conditions such as:

  • Hypoxia.
  • Reduced calcium homeostasis.
  • Ischemia secondary to increased intracranial pressure.
  • Edema.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

This condition is known to occur due to medical complications during or after birth. The primary causes of Cerebral Palsy (CP) include the lack of oxygen in specific areas of the brain tissue that control important cognitive functions.

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Kids with CP tend to face hurdles when they try to communicate, walk, or engage in hand-eye coordination. A few impediments that kids with symptoms of CP endure are listed here:

  • Seizure.
  • Affected vision or hearing.
  • Drooling.
  • Incoherent speech.
  • Bowel incontinence.
  • Rigidity of muscles.

Doctors across California are recommending HBOT therapy to kids with TBI and CP. Research has indicated significant improvements in their conditions after the administration of regular HBOT sessions.

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What is HBOT therapy?

HBOT therapy or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an adjunctive treatment that involves the administration of pure unadulterated oxygen to patients suffering from TBI, CP, and numerous other afflictions.

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The patient is made to enter a pressurized capsule known as a hyperbaric chamber, wherein 100% pure oxygen is administered at pressures that are 2 to 5 times higher than normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. This enhanced atmospheric pressure helps dissolve the unadulterated oxygen into the bodily fluids of the patient, thereby boosting the flow of oxygen to the affected or damaged parts of the brain.

HBOT therapy is known to provide neuroprotection to kids with CP and TBI by:

  • Decreasing inflammation.
  • Lowering intracranial pressure.
  • Reducing apoptosis.
  • Enhancing tissue oxygenation.
  • Encouraging angiogenesis and neurogenesis.

Many noted researchers have observed these remarkable improvements in TBI and CP patients after HBOT therapy sessions and are extremely optimistic about implementing this novel treatment solution in the coming years.

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However, it is imperative to accurately ascertain the medical condition of the child before any treatment is prescribed. Time is critical in these situations and commencement of the right treatment plan such as HBOT therapy at the earliest can prevent the problem from getting worse.

Currently, HBOT therapy is definitely the most favored non-traditional treatment method in California for kids with TBI and CP.

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