Mind your head: anyone can be at risk for a TBI, especially children and older adults
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by mechanical force, a hit, a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury after possible falls, strikes, assaults or car accidents.
TBI can lead to permanent or temporary impairment of cognitive, physical and psychological functions, with associated diminished or altered state of consciousness. While about 75% of cases are mild TBI, there are certain patients with severe to acute traumatic brain injury that can endanger their lives. Sometimes people are not only affected by traumatic brain injury, it may lead to post-traumatic stress syndrome with symptoms like headaches, anger, traumatic flashbacks, confusion, depression, as well as life-threatening conditions like strokes, blood clots or various disabilities.
HBOT can bring favorable results for neuro-trauma
According to available research, HBOT can bring favorable results for multiple different diagnoses that include neuro-trauma, ranging from mild to acute traumatic brain injuries, blast injuries, and posttraumatic stress disorder. HBOT has been traditionally applied in the treatment of certain chronic wound conditions, including TBI/PCS or PTSD, according to medical protocols.
Medical protocols include treatments for a long period of time, with consecutive days, as frequently as possible. The number of sessions is determined following recommendations from a hyperbaric medicine expert.
HBOT has proven positive impact on brain function
Studies have shown that following hyperbaric oxygen therapy some patients can experience permanent marked improvement in post-concussive symptoms, better brain blood flow, better results in physical exam findings, including a resolution of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.
There have been recorded improvements in:
- reducing headaches
- sleeping mood
- cognitive functions, including speed of processing
- a sustained attention
- the ability to be more engaging in a patient’s personal life and their community
Why is HBOT so effective for treating TBI
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is essentially breathing oxygen at greater than normal atmospheric pressures. The treatment is carried out in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. The oxygen delivered under pressure is a catalyst of healing for the body. During oxygen sessions inside the hyperbaric chamber, the body receives supplemented oxygen levels to repair cells and repair damage.
The impact of brain injury on blood capillaries and nutritional supply
After brain injury, many blood capillaries around the area of injury are torn due to impact. The blood plasma will leak out causing swelling in the surrounding brain tissue, squeezing the tissue, reducing blood flow and therefore nutritional supply.
Without this essential nutrition, the brain’s electrical activity becomes diminished and signals cannot be effectively rerouted. The tiny tubules leading to the capillaries also become so constricted that the red blood cells cannot get through to heal the torn capillary walls.
The role of oxygen in brain injury healing and blood flow restoration
The presence of oxygen in the brain is to help create new capillaries around the injured area to receive new blood flow and reduce swelling in order to start the healing process.
In case of a traumatic brain injury, a stroke that brings any kind of damage to the brain, there will be swelling between the capillary. With more oxygen that becomes available to heal the capillary walls, prevent plasma leakage and reduce swelling, normal blood flow is restored to the surrounding tissue and the cells electrical activity is restarted.
HBOT will improve cerebral blood flow
Wherever there is injury in the brain, and whatever diversity of symptoms it produces, the same patterns of problem arise, and the same approach to healing is possible using hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
As a patient breathes oxygen delivered under pressure, the blood plasma becomes oxygen rich and becomes able to carry the healing oxygen through the constricted capillary tubules to the torn capillary walls which will then begin to heal. As the capillaries heal, their torn walls close and plasma leakage into the surrounding brain tissue stops.
HBOT will reduce tissue swelling
Tissue swelling is reduced efficiently due to the fact that oxygen leads to a constricting effect on blood capillaries. When blood plasma is rich with oxygen, there is also less fluid to contribute to the swelling that travels through the torn capillaries, as well as more oxygen to heal the capillaries.
The swelling gradually goes down and normal blood supply is slowly restored. Normal blood supply restores essential nutrition and the washing away of waste products so that the brain’s electrical potential for sending normal signals can be restored.
Can hyperbaric oxygen therapy work for me as well?
According to research and clinical trials, oxygen therapy under high pressure for brain injury can bring the kind of improvements necessary to consider HBOT appropriate complementary therapy for TBI. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be good treatment used in conjunction with other therapies and medication, including, where applicable, with psychological counseling and pain management.
Need further information if HBOT can benefit you?
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AHA Hyperbaric Medical System is certified according to the European Council Directive concerning medical devices (MDD) 93/42/EEC and produced on the basis of the quality management system for the production of medical products as determined by EN ISO 13485:2016.
Due to their functionality and safe use, AHA Hyperbaric Medical System is the only inflatable hyperbaric chamber in the world that can be used for 7 medical indications: crush injuries, diabetic foot ulcer, post-concussion syndrome, cerebrovascular insult, intestinal cystitis, scleral ischemia and autism (2-16 of age).
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HBOT lesson no.1:
Learn to identify safe and effective hyperbaric chamber
Learn how to recognize if a hyperbaric system truly generates at least 95% medical-grade oxygen at pressures of at least 1.6 ata and if the manufacturer has indeed obtained all the necessary certificates.
Only a select few manufacturers in the world are capable and have all the necessary certificates for producing hyperbaric systems that are highly efficient and effective. As this technology becomes more popular and widely adopted, there is a risk of being misled by invalid products or improper usage of hyperbaric chambers.