If NFL uses it, must it be good?

4 weeks ago, I received a concussion patient, in what turned out to be a difficult clinical case, including insomnia, headache/head pressure, disorientation, memory disturbances and more. A client was a 45 years male, who 4 months ago sustained a blow to the head, playing soccer. He was delivered to an emergency room. MRI didn’t find any hemorrhage, lesions, or etc. After 3 weeks of “rest and time,” his primary care physician referred him to a hyperbaric camera oxygen treatment; twice a week, for 2 months. According to the patient, this therapy made him feel worse.

Of course, I wouldn’t present this case to you, if I wouldn’t achieve some evidence of an improvement. So far, thank God, after 11 treatments, the patient is progressing significantly, sleeps better, shows memory improvement, no symptoms of severe intracranial pressure, and more.

As I was contemplating over this case, I asked my patient,

“Why did your doctor decide to refer you to hyperbaric oxygen treatment?”

”NFL use it” The patient responded.

I was somewhat astonished.  Was NFL usage of hyperbaric oxygen treatment a sufficient reason for prescribing this procedure? I talked to the referring neurologist.  He had no answer why primary care physician decided to subject his patient to this procedure.

Hyperbaric chambers technologies were developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

Originally hyperbaric chambers were designed to treat Deepwater divers from decompression sickness. Back in the day of the Soviet Union, these divers used to build underwater constructions, repairing ship bottoms, etc., – a unique occupation, which was in a high demand. To keep these guys in the workforce, scientists developed hyperbaric chambers oxygen treatment, and it was and is a great solution for decompression sickness, arterial gas embolism.

One of the additional expectations for application of this procedure was that it would work in cases of brain trauma/strokes. Although after an extensive testing it proved to have no effect.

It was also recorded that hyperbaric chambers oxygen therapy worked in some cases for non-well-healing wounds. It increased the oxygen level in blood but did not accelerate CSF drainage. And if this was so, how would this oxygen be delivered to brain cells in needed quantities? What about glucose supply to the traumatized brain? Does this oxygen therapy contribute to the balance of autonomic activities? If the hyperbaric cameras have no effect on autonomic activities, then (in my opinion) this hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not working in cases of prevention and rehabilitation from post concussions encephalopathies developments.

To no surprise of mine, I have found this article https://www.nytimes.com/…/effective-concussion-treatment-re…

However, if you have any materials supporting the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in cases of concussions, please do post.

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