Controversial Oxygen Therapy "Reverses Brain Damage" In Drowned Toddler

A hyperbolic chamber, similar to the one used in this case. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

By day 78, the family traveled to New Orleans to begin the full hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), where she had to lay in a hyperbaric chamber for 45 minutes a day, five days a week for 40 sessions. Towards the end of this treatment, she was able to talk more fluently than before the incident, displayed normal cognition, near-normal motor function, and showed an improvement on almost all of her neurological abnormalities.

"Such low-risk medical treatment may have a profound effect on recovery of function in similar patients who are neurologically devastated by drowning,” Dr Paul Harch said in a statement. As Dr Harch also points out, this is just one case.

HBOT is typically used to treat decompression sickness suffered by divers. In recent years, many have claimed it also treats a range of diseases and conditions, but much of these remain unconfirmed by proper clinical trials and the FDA has still not cleared the use of hyperbaric chambers to treat many illnesses.

In 2013, the FDA released a statement called “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Don't Be Misled”, which explains: “HBOT has not, however, been proven to be the kind of universal treatment it has been touted to be on some Internet sites.”

Results such as Eden's are hard to argue with, but more evidence is needed before HBOT can live up to some of its larger than life claims.

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