Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Increase Oxygen Levels in Complicated COVID Patients and for Other Major Diseases
DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR DISEASE.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves the use of oxygen at an ambient pressure that is higher than atmospheric pressure. Though most people are familiar with hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a treatment for decompression sickness, HBOT has been used successfully to treat many diseases and disorders such as:
- Gas gangrene (Clostridal myositis and myonecrosis)
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Alzheimer’s DIsease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Spanish flu
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
- HIV / AIDs
- Bells palsy
- Gas embolism
- Central retinal artery occlusion
- Compartment syndrome
- Acute traumatic ischemia
- Crush injury
- Healing enhancement in problematic wounds
- Diabetic foot
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss
- Mucomycosis – Rhinocerebral disease
- Intracranial abscess
- Necrotizing fasciitis
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Radiation injury (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
- Thermal burns
- Heart disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Sports injuries
- Surgical wounds
- Traumatic injury
HBOT is often used to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It works to restrict the production of reactive oxygen species in the body.
Good oxygenation is extremely important in the treatment of COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have been working to find different ways to effectively keep patients oxygenated throughout the course of the disease. Several studies have examined the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on the progression of COVID. Contrary to what readers might expect, hyperbaric oxygen therapy actually works in the body primarily as an antioxidant.
A systematic review of the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for COVID-19 revealed 8 articles from 3 different countries. These studies were all rated as good or fair quality and they included case studies as well as clinical trials. Researchers in all but a few of the studies used HBOT at less than 1.5 to 5 absolute atmospheres for 90 minute sessions initially, decreasing to 60 minute sessions over time.
Most patients in these studies recovered completely after receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy and the studies revealed that HBOT is an effective way to safely increase blood oxygen levels in patients with COVID-19. Further, this research review demonstrated that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is safe and effective as an oxygenation method in COVID-19 patients.
How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy work?
Scientists don’t know exactly how hyperbaric oxygen therapy works to oxygenate the body when patients have COVID-19 or other diseases. What they do know is that HBOT is an effective way to safely increase oxygen levels in COVID-19 patients who are experiencing respiratory distress.
A second study at NYU Winthrop Hospital evaluated the effects of HBOT on patients aged 30 to 79 years of age. This study included both a HBOT-group of 20 patients and a control group of 60 patients who did not receive HBOT treatment. Patients in the control group were matched to patients in the HBOT-group in terms of age, sex, BMI, coronary artery disease, oxygen requirement, troponin, D-dimer, and hospital day.
Of the 20 patients in the HBOT group, 1 (10%) had to be intubated and died. The rest of the patients who were given hyperbaric oxygen therapy survived and are no longer hospitalized.
In contrast, among the 60 patients who were matched in terms of general health level, age, sex, and BMI, but who did NOT receive HBOT, 18 (30%) were intubated, 13 died (22%), and 3 (5%) were still hospitalized with one still requiring mechanical ventilation at the time the article was published.
This study demonstrated the relative safety of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for COVID-19 patients as well as the potential therapeutic value of this method of treatment.
Other Important Links:
Gorenstein, S. A. et al (2020). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for COVID-19 patients with respiratory distress: treated cases versus propensity-matched controls. Retrieved October 18, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32931666/
Oliaei, S. et al. (2021). The effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19): a systematic review. Retrieved October 18, 2021 from https://eurjmedres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40001-021-00570-2
Estrada, P. J. G., Iglesias, G. M. (2017). Oxidative stress and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Retrieved October 18, 2021 from https://www.medigraphic.com/cgi-bin/new/resumenI.cgi?IDARTICULO=77452
Wikipedia (2021). Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Retrieved October 18, 2021 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbaric_medicine
Tepic, S. et al. (2018). Impact of hyperbaric oxygenation on oxidation stress in diabetic patients. Retrieved October 18, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29571227/