Crash Victim Benefits from Hyperbaric Therapy For Brain Injury
Cecilia Speranzella, a 19-year old resident of Lake St. Southern Minneapolis, was with her sibling when they were involved in a freak motor accident in September 2019. As Cecilia had sustained severe head injuries in the mishap, her parents immediately shifted her to the Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment. The doctors at the hospital spared no time in starting Cecilia’s hyperbaric therapy for brain injury complications.
Cecilia’s first hyperbaric therapy lasted for five days. The early signs of her recovery post the first hyperbaric session encouraged her parents to continue the treatment for some more time.
The Speranzellas were quite relieved with the progress made by their daughter. Soon, Cecilia regained consciousness and the experts at Hennepin County Medical Center observed that her external wounds were healing faster than expected.
“We believe that the combination of Cece’s medical care – including the opportunity to be enrolled in this hyperbaric medicine study – as well as prayer has contributed to her recovery,” exclaimed Mitzi and Joseph Speranzella.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered to be a serious health concern. Treatment methods such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy are known to enable patients with TBI in their speedy recovery.
Currently, there are several clinics across the nation that offer treatment through hyperbaric therapy for brain injury victims.
Listed herewith is a brief overview that describes the process of hyperbaric oxygen therapy along with other associated benefits that aid patients with TBI counter their afflictions effectively:
What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an alternative treatment solution that was initially introduced by physicians in the 1960s’ to provide relief to US naval divers ailing from complications related to decompression sickness.
Over time, researchers discovered that HBOT can be used to successfully treat patients with serious health afflictions such as traumatic brain injury and concussion.
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), typically occurs due to an external forceful impact to the head and is believed to be one of the leading causes of fatalities in the United States. Individuals involved in motor accidents are highly prone to traumatic brain injury.
Oxygen is vital for the smooth functioning of any organ in the body and any paucity of this precious element in the human body can have a debilitating effect on the health of an individual.
Reduced oxygen levels in the body fluids of a TBI patient injured in an accident can cause a condition known as hypoxia. Hypoxia can impair the basic cognitive abilities of an injured individual or even turn fatal if left untreated for a prolonged duration.
A few common symptoms experienced by TBI patients are:
• Blurred vision.
• Slurred speech.
• Loss of consciousness.
How Is HBOT Administered To Patients With TBI?
Medical professionals conduct a thorough medical evaluation of the patient’s health condition before prescribing the duration of HBOT.
On commencing HBOT, the TBI patient is placed in a pressurized compartment known as a hyperbaric chamber. Thereon, the hyperbaric experts administer pure unadulterated oxygen to the patient at pressures that are 1.2 to 3 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure at sea level.
The enhanced pressure level ensures that pure oxygen is instantly dissolved into the body fluids like the blood plasma. The oxygen-rich blood plasma and other body fluids can now reach the injured areas of the brain where blood flow is either restricted or impaired, cutting off the oxygen supply. The sudden surge of oxygen-rich plasma that flows into the affected area is known to improve immunity, activate fresh-tissue regeneration in the brain and accelerate healing.
The common duration of a single session of hyperbaric therapy for brain injury victims is around 60 – 90 minutes a day, dispensed 5 times a week, over a month or more depending on the severity of the medical condition.
How Can Hyperbaric Therapy Benefit TBI Patients?
Traumatic brain injury is a serious affliction that can impair the basic cognitive functions of a patient.
As in Cecilia’s case, her parents are extremely optimistic about their daughter’s recovery as there has been a substantial improvement in her cognitive functions, wound recovery and overall disposition post continued HBOT sessions.
Can HBOT Be Administered To TBI Patients At Home?
hyperbaric therapy for brain injury is considered to be relatively safe as it is a non-invasive procedure. Patients requiring HBOT for an extended period can consider home treatment as it is more economical as compared to a large medical facility.
The parents or caregivers can opt to purchase personal hyperbaric chambers that are easy to install and operate. As the personal chambers are constructed from urethane or canvas, they are lightweight and can be transported to any location with ease.
However, it is always advisable to consult a qualified hyperbaric expert before undertaking treatment at home. All requisite guidelines have to be followed by the care-givers as TBI patients will require a lot of personalized care and monitoring.
Patients with traumatic brain injury require a strong support system to help them overcome their painful ordeal, hence it is imperative to understand their needs and handle their fluctuating moods patiently.
The Lake St. crash victims’ incredible story of survival coupled with the multiple benefits of hyperbaric therapy for brain injury provides a ray of hope to millions of TBI patients worldwide.