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Compression chambers used to treat divers who experienced “the bends” after ascending too quickly may offer clues to treating wounded warriors suffering traumatic brain injuries.
Air Force Studies Oxygen Treatment- 1/11/2010
An Air Force study at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio hopes to determine if hyperbaric oxygen therapy shows promise in treating patients with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries.
A team with the San Antonio Military Medical Center Hyperbaric Center and Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine launched the study last year, and expects to come up with preliminary results as soon as this summer. The study seeks to determine if patients experience improvements in their cognitive abilities after being exposed to pressured, 100% oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber, explained Dr. E. George Wolf, a physician directing the study.
The goal is to improve the patient’s ability to think, remember, recognize and concentrate. These abilities often are impaired in troops with traumatic brain injuries, many attributed to blows to the head, nearby explosions, concussion or penetrating wounds.
Twenty-five soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines afflicted with TBI are currently participating in the study, with another 25 to join in the months ahead. Half are receiving hyperbaric therapy and half are in the control group that is not, although neither the subjects nor the researchers know at this point which subjects are in which group, Wolf said.
Read the full story at defense.gov.