Six questions your family has about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
By Robin Ekholm RN, DO
Robin Ekholm is Medical Director of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy of Marin. Oxygen therapy administered under strict medical protocol has been shown to accelerate healing and speed recovery. Find advanced hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the Hope For Healing Institute, listed in OPEN EXCHANGE's Health & Healing category.
Brandon, a youth hockey player in the North American Roller Championships collided with another player on the rink. After getting hit in the front cage of his helmet he was knocked unconscious. After coming to, he was told he was staring off into space, being very antisocial and uncharacteristically quiet.
1. What is HBOT? A true medical miracle paid for by insurance. Medical oxygen under slight pressure dissolves into the blood more efficiently and at greater amounts than normal. Tissues, muscle, bone and internal organs become saturated with healing oxygen which increases new blood vessel and tissue growth, reduces swelling and pain, increases collagen production, improves the immune response and inhibits bacterial infections.
2. What does it treat? Insurance pays for acute trauma, air embolism, anemia, carbon monoxide poisoning, compromised skin grafts/flaps, cyanide poisoning, decompression sickness, gas gangrene, infections, radiation effects after cancer treatment, osteomyelitis, burns, non-healing wounds and bones. Physicians also prescribe for post lyme syndrome, chronic fatigue, plastic surgery healing, stroke and many neurological conditions in children including CP and autism.
3. Is it safe? HBOT is painless and is one of the safest modalities of treatment available. It is a highly regulated therapy that can only be prescribed by an MD, DO or DDS.
4. Is it cost effective? Yes! A study conducted in 1993 in the text WOUNDS showed around $287,000 for a non healing wound, and $150,000 for chronic Lyme disease. The average cost of a wound healing protocol using HBOT averages about $11,000 out of hospital and is insurance payable. Quality of life, of course is priceless.
5. Are there different types of HBOT treatment? As with any medical treatment, you should beware of imitators. The FDA and insurance companies only recognize HBOT facilities that operate under an MD or DO and that have the same medical equipment, staff and protocols used in a hospital. Inflatable or "soft" collapsible bag chambers are also not recognized by any regulating organization, they do not meet their requirement, nor are they used in hospitals for any purpose. Only hard-shell HBOT chambers can achieve the depths required for national protocols for healing, and only medical grade facilities can bill your insurance for you.
6. What miracles in healing have you seen? A grandmother avoided amputation of her leg 2 weeks before it was scheduled, a young head injury patient coming out of a coma, a 25+ year chronic Lyme disease patient getting back to work, a veteran with a traumatic head injury attain peace of mind, a 5 year old brain injured child speak in sentences for the first time... Will you be the next HBOT success story?
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