Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Johns Hopkins Medicine: About as Good as Online HBOT Info Gets (and That's Not a Compliment)

Should you somehow manage to find the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy page, somewhere under Dermatology, in the Johns Hopkins online Health Library, you will be rewarded with a pretty okay overview. You will learn that HBOT helps wound healing, prevents "reperfusion injury" (nice), blocks harmful bacteria, strengthens the immune system, and encourages the formation of new connective tissue and skin cells. You will also get a quick history of hyperbaric medicine (why?) and blurbs about clinical indications, mechanisms, chamber types, precautions, and misuses. As one would expect, this august medical institution also takes a stand for hospital-based HBOT facilities staffed by trained and certified medical personnel.

Brilliant. Until the last paragraph, under "Misuses of HBOT":

In addition, some chiropractors and clinics use portable fabric HBOT chambers, the routine use of which, experts say, poses a serious fire and explosion hazard. Although no fire fatalities involving HBOT in a hospital setting have been reported since 1967, portable chambers have been implicated recently in several deaths after a unit caught on fire. 

Wrong. The doubly fatal 2009 fire at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, involved a 40-year-old hard chamber. The other recent fatal incident, earlier this year in Ocala, Florida, involved a large chamber used to treat horses. Portable fabric bags—we won't call them hyperbaric chambers—raise all sorts of questions about therapeutic efficacy and medical fraud and quackery, but they do not pose a "serious fire and explosion hazard" if used as intended. We feel odd defending chiropractors and bag clinics. Those are just the facts.

Last month we wrote the Johns Hopkins webmaster to correct this misinformation but have not yet received a reply.

HyperbaricLink lists the wound healing center at the Johns Hopkins Bay View Medical Center, and from there, with just a click or two, to anywhere on our website, you will find more complete and more accurate information about hyperbaric oxygen therapy. That's why we're in business.

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