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What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a method of administering pure oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure to a patient in order to improve or correct conditions.
HBOT helps with brain injury because it is vaso-constricting, which means that it constricts blood vessels and interrupts the vicious cycle where lack of oxygen leads to tissue swelling, which in turn leads to further oxygen deficiency.
By providing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber we are able to deliver 10-15 times more oxygen than if delivered at sea level or at normal atmospheric levels. Some of the effects this has are to promote the growth of new blood vessels, decrease swelling and inflammation, deactivate toxins, increase the body’s ability to fight infections, and improve the rate of healing.
The best time to begin HBOT is at the onset of the condition. In most cases though, parents, patients and physicians alike, are unaware that HBOT should be given to a brain injured person, even newborns, at the earliest possible opportunity.
For some children with moderate to severe CP there is evidence that HBOT improves motor skills, attention, language, and play with also changes in spasticity diminishing most likely over time. For some, an increase in vision was noted too. This increase in attention is particularly important because children must be aware of their environment in order to learn. This represents a direct impact on cognitive functioning.
These children all still have CP, but there are substantial improvements noticed.
The main differences between HBOT and traditional therapies are the
rapid gains over time and the impact on cognitive skills, which in
general are not improved by Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy and