Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Update: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

We have updated and upgraded our traumatic brain injury (TBI) page. In randomized clinical trials hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of death in patients with traumatic brain injury, but there is little evidence survivors enjoy good outcomes. Research results this year were disappointing, prompting us to lower our Evidence Index score to Scant. From our new commentary:
Even more disappointing has been the scramble for scarce research funds and the solicitation of brain-injured trial subjects by some unqualified providers and practitioners. Patients should avoid HBOT centers requiring a fee for investigational TBI treatment. And surely there is no place for mild HBOT inflatable devices in the treatment of such a serious condition. We eagerly await results from the randomized clinical trials still under way.
Stay tuned. More large clinical trials currently under way should determine once and for all if HBOT, by increasing the circulation of oxygenated blood in the brain, may also help reduce the extent of brain damage and speed recovery and rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury. HBOT has been approved for patients with intracranial abscess and acute traumatic ischemias based on similar claims.

[Illustration: NPR/ProPublica]

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