Friday, January 21, 2011

Florida Clinic Reopens Nearly Two Years After Fatal Fire

The first fatal hyperbaric chamber fire in the US, on 1 May 2009 at the Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Center in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea FL, sent shock waves across the HBOT community. (Click here to read our previous coverage of the accident and its aftermath.) The clinic reopened earlier this week, as Neubauer Hyperbaric Neurologic Center, under a lingering cloud of controversy.

Besides reteaching everyone some vital lessons in equipment safety and safe clinical staff and patient procedures, the Florida fire put HBOT providers and healthcare consumers on notice regarding the legal and truthful promotion of off-label indications for hyperbaric medicine on the web. Money quote from Monday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel article:

The US Food and Drug Administration doesn't interfere with how doctors use the devices. But the agency does act when a clinic starts promoting devices for unlisted conditions, violating federal law, according to Erica V. Jefferson, an agency spokeswoman.

Still, the clinic's website makes some rather bold claims about the treatment of "unlisted conditions," and the Sun-Sentinel piece includes the following video testimonial by a man who enjoys success with HBOT for multiple sclerosis.

Here on HyperbaricLink we insist that any and all information about off-label indications should be presented in proper context, clearly showing the current FDA status, the weight of published clinical evidence, our own views and insights, and links to other helpful and authoritative resources. Poke around our Hyperbaric Treatment Center Directory and you'll see what we mean.

O2.0 is the news blog of HyperbaricLink, the independent web guide to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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