The pain, the skin and tissue damage, the lack of circulation, the race against the clock to salvage limbs—using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for frostbite must be like treating a burn, a traumatic ischemia, and a chronic wound all at the same time. HBOT is not specifically indicated for the treatment of frostbite. But don't these similarities make good common sense? The online medical literature on HBOT for frostbite dates back to the 1960s. A quick search shows 16 papers on PubMed and over 600 articles on Google Scholar.
Frostbite and hypothermia are much on our minds, as much of the Midwest emerges from dangerous subzero temperatures. Even dashing between warm shelters and warm cars gets our extremities tingling. So we're easily moved by this report of a homeless man in Rock Island, Illinois, now receiving treatment at Trinity Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine in Bettendorf, Iowa, in hopes of saving parts of his frostbitten feet. Click here to watch the video. And please follow us on Twitter and join us in sharing this heartwarming story.
O2.0 is the news blog of HyperbaricLink, the independent web guide to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.