Incredible Video Describing the use of Hyperbaric oxygen for reverse aging

The studies from Israel are exceptional, cutting edge and demonstrate the true potential of this therapy as a therapeutic option.

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Fearmongering and Special Interest in Healthcare (FMSIH): What drives healthcare in North America?


My sole motivation for writing this narrative is to record observations that I have seen over a period of 35 years in which I have worked in healthcare in the Western Hemisphere. My exposure to and experience within healthcare is diverse from military to civilian, from traditional to alternative healthcare, from fee for service to universal healthcare, from field healthcare services established in manner consistent with service provided by Doctors without Borders to hospital based programs to clinically based healthcare services.

I decided to undertake this discussion after watching a news report on the 30th of April 2014. The focus of the news report  was intended to make the public aware of a landmark study of that demonstrated the effectiveness of Hyperbaric oxygen when added to the therapeutic approaches to address Cerebral Palsy. The new study published in the March/April 2014 edition of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Journal is the culmination of 10 years of investigative clinical research.  At the end of the report, the reporter quoted a website  comment by an individual at Health Canada which has been used for over thirteen years to discourage parents from investigating this therapy for their children. The comment  I am speaking of is  “may even cause  death ” is used by physicians on a daily basis as they explain procedures and attain informed consent of these procedures. Why is the use of this qualifier used? We live in a society where legal recourse is a way of life.

The reality is  the complication rate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy as compared to any other therapeutic procedure is enviable. It is safe when delivered by individuals trained in its use. To characterize it as harmful  is just plain wrong.

The purest drinking water is capable of producing death if you drink enough of it. Does this mean pure drinking water should considered a dangerous substance?

The new study demonstrates effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in treating neurological and motor dysfunction that accompany Cerebral  Palsy. Numerous studies have demonstrated comparable results to the current study.

So why is the new study significant?

What makes the current study’s finding’s impressive is the rigorous , methodical, multifaceted comparison of the study design. Standard Intensive Rehabilitation given children with cerebral palsy was compared to groups where hyperbaric oxygen therapy of differing doses was given. The current study design corrected the shortcomings of previous studies.  The significant benefits noted in the current study, the largest study to date, are not able to misinterpreted or misconstrued. They demonstrate the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in treating neurological and motor dysfunction seen in children with cerebral palsy.


This narrative is organized as a series of questions. My hope is that you find the content interesting and enlightening.

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What is Hyperbaric Oxygen

Hyperbaric Oxygen is a therapeutic treatment in which a patient inhales pure oxygen at elevated pressure conditions. Many diseases and all injuries are associated with a lack of oxygen in tissues, known as hypoxia. HBOT provides a safe and effective method to deliver oxygen to tissues in critical need. By correcting the availability of oxygen, the body and its tissues are able to heal and when possible recover normally.  The role of oxygen in metabolism is beyond question, but research has now shown that oxygen is also critical to the  regulation of at least 30 genes.

Babchin,A. et al,  Osmotic phenomena in application for hyperbaric oxygen treatment; Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2010

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Silent Wounding- Unrecognized and Untreated

It has been 7 years since I first published the following article.  What has changed? A lot of U.S. Taxpayers money has been committed to studies whose only  definitive conclusion is further studies are needed. Investigators interject themselves into ongoing studies to further federal grants that guarantee significant funding. The effects or Primary Blast Injury- caused by pressure as a result of  explosions is something that unrecognized.  Ask yourself what is in a name or a label?  Are they being used to prevent us from realizing the true impact of an injury? Is the term PTSD overused? TBI, mTBI, Concussion, Post concussion Syndrome, all seem to be used to label a common constellation of signs and symptoms.


The effects of pressure on the human body and explosive decompression have been studied. So why do they go untreated in our veterans? Is the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen indicated when rapid decompression from extreme pressure happens. Every indication points to the severity of injury to a factor of pressure and time. The effects are cumulative.

Silent Wounds: the true signature wound of the War on Terror


            Thomas M.Fox MAS,MS, CHT


“Far too often the lessons learned from past wars have been forgotten at great cost to human life.”

                                                                                                LTG Frank F. Ledford

                                                                                                Surgeon General

                                                                                                United States Army 1990


Our country is in the middle of a health care crisis, the likes of which we have never experienced. At the center of this crisis is a silent wounding of our armed forces that often goes unrecognized. If you believe the Rand Corporation’ s estimates, silent wounding  may be affecting as many as 640,000 veterans.


This silent wounding is much more than the anxiety disorder as identified by Pentagon officials, while  they rendered a decision last year on the eligibility of  veterans with these injuries for receiving purple hearts. The purple heart is a recognition reserved to honor service-members injured in combat. The Pentagon’s decision last made the soldiers with this condition ineligible for purple hearts.


Silent wounding can be traced historically back as far as the American Civil War. Identified under different labels since that time,  this condition has significantly contributed to the number of casualties experienced by armies on the field of battle in every conflict in the last 140 years. The treatment of this war derived patient population has been shameful.  In the War  to end all Wars, which ended ninety-one years ago, the British Army executed over 300 soldiers afflicted with this condition. Finally in 1996, this group of “wounded” was finally pardoned by the British Government.


Today, ninety one years later, researchers and investigators are still struggling to identify the mechanism of injury which is causing the impairment of our veterans.  A very simplistic explanation of this wounding is to label it an anxiety or conversion disorder. The physiological possibilities must be explained before attributing these impairments to stress and psychological causes.


There is a significant body of evidence that would lead one to believe that these injuries are caused by bubbles formed as a result of exposure to blast overpressure. This creates an injury that can be likened to decompression illness or the bends, a condition which affects divers that are removed from pressure environments too quickly. The care of these “primary blast wounds” created by exposure to blast overpressure are often subordinated to other more impressive injuries created by the detonation of improvised explosive devices.


These primary blast injuries are often quite subtle but the damage created is no less real. The mechanism of injury in this situation involves the creation of bubbles in the body due to the change in pressure. In the human body sub-clinical bubbling can begin to be seen  at pressure differential pressures as low as 8.526 psi, a pressure that is seen quite far from the epicenter of the detonation of improvised explosive devices and explosions. Once formed the bubbles can persist from 11 to 70 days, with the variance depending  on the size and the shape of bubbles.


What is the appropriate  treatment of these bubbles? For over 130 years, the appropriate treatment for bubbles formed on leaving pressure environments has been  hyperbarics. First develop using air, the addition of oxygen to this treatment made it much more effective in returning bubbles to solution where they no longer pose a problem. In a 1990 publication entitled A Textbook of Military Medicine – Conventional Warfare Ballistics, Blast and Burn Injuries, compiled by the Walter Reed Institute of Research  and approved by the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army, treatment with hyperbaric oxygen was considered definitive in the treatment of Neurological Abnormalities in the Blast Casualty.


What happens to these bubbles when they are not treated?  Untreated, the bubbles are perceived as foreign  bodies and the immune system moves to isolate them, creating clots. In studies of  decompression illness, Dr. Phillip James, Professor Emeritus , Wolfson  Hyperbaric Unit, University of Dundee , Dundee Scotland, says the filtration provided by the lungs traps most of these  bubbles or the clots formed around these bubbles.  Some  bubbles may escape  pulmonary filtration.  Usually  these  are not large enough to cause cell death. According to Dr James’ March 2007 article in Neurological Research, these bubbles or solid emboli pass through cerebral circulation, but disturb the blood brain barrier creating ” peri-venous syndrome”. This condition results blood brain barrier dysfunction, inflammation, demyelination and diffuse axonal damage.


The resulting impairment is not easily recognized by the health care professional, but the deficit is clearly evident to family members. The individuals themselves may not even recognize that they are impaired .  These injuries are culmulative and impairment increases with subsequent exposures to blast overpressure.  


At the center silent wounding is the exposure of our troops to blast overpressure. This exposure has increased since 2004 as insurgents have used IEDs as their principle weapon to engage our forces.  It is particularly interesting to note that the signs and symptoms that accompany the condition of neurological decompression illness are consistent with much of the constellation of signs and symptoms attributed to post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD or mild traumatic brain injury mTBI, terms that are used interchangeably to describe the impairment of US and Coalition Forces in the current conflict. These signs and symptoms are virtually identical to those used to describe the other labels for this same affliction throughout history. The legacy of this silent wounding is that a large portion of the younger generation are adversely affected. Those injured as a result of exposure to blast overpressure often go unrecognized, until the impairment progresses to the point that it is easily recognizable to the untrained observer. This injury is often readily apparent to family and friends when the wounded return home. Historically, this affected group of young men and women have rarely been rehabilitated. This legacy can’t be allowed to continue.


Currently the United States Air Force is conducting a study of the use of hyperbaric oxygen  in the treatment of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with the diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury. The principle investigator of this study is Dr. George Wolf.


Preliminary observations generating this study were that many of the signs and symptoms observed in the veterans with impairment were substantially improved with the use of hyperbaric oxygen. This preliminary finding of this study are backed up by numerous case reports that have positively changed the lives of these heroes.  Perhaps it will never be known how many veterans are truly affected. What is for certain is the lifetime costs of taking care of these injured veterans may easily surpass the amount of committed by Congress to the economic bailout of Wall Street. Until that time the veterans with this silent wounding submit to a barrage of therapeutic interventions and in the end accept their plight as a sign of “recovery”.


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Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen on Inflammatory Response to Wound and Trauma:

There is growing interest in expanding the clinical applications for HBO2 (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) into new medical and surgical fields  The pathophysiology of response towards wounds, infection, trauma, or surgery involves various chemical mediators that include cytokines, prostaglandins (PGs), and nitric oxide (NO). The beneficial role played by HBO2 in wound healing, carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, and other indications is well documented. However, the exact mechanism of action is still poorly understood. This review addresses the effects of HBO2 on PGs, NO, and cytokines involved in wound pathophysiology and inflammation in particular. The results of this review indicate that HBO2 has important effects on the biology of cytokines and other mediators of inflammation. HBO2 causes cytokine down-regulation and growth factor up regulation. HBO2 transiently suppresses stimulus-induced pro inflammatory cytokine production and affects the liberation of TNFα (tumor necrosis factor alpha) and endothelins. VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) levels are significantly increased with HBO2, whereas the value of PGE2 and COX-2 mRNA are markedly reduced. The effect of HBO2 on NO production is not well established and more studies are required. In conclusion, cytokines, PGs, and NO may play a major role in the mechanism of action of HBO2 and further research could pave the way for new clinical applications for HBO2 to be established. It could be proposed that chronic wounds persist due to an uncontrolled pathological inflammatory response in the wound bed and that HBO2 enhances wound healing by damping pathological inflammation (anti-inflammatory effects); this hypothetical proposal remains to be substantiated with experimental results.


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Repeat concussions may require longer recoveries in kids

Repeat concussions may require longer recoveries in kids

By RYAN JASLOW / CBS NEWS/ June 10, 2013, 11:51 AM


Young athletes who have suffered multiple concussions need significantly longer recovery periods than first-time sufferers, according to a new study that spent a year tracking youths following their head injuries.

“There may be a subgroup of kids, particularly those who play contact sports who are at risk over the course of their adolescence — those are the ones we worry about,” study author Dr. Matthew Eisenberg, an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School who is also a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, said to USA Today.

Researchers tracked 280 young people — ages 11 to 22 — for the 12 months after they presented to an emergency room. They were examined by a doctor and given a concussion symptom test, in addition to answering questions about their past medical histories. They were given additional concussions tests three months after the injury, or until all symptoms went away.

The researchers found the more concussions a patient had, the longer the recovery. On average, young people who previously had a concussion before they entered the ER had symptoms twice as long as those without previous concussions: 24 days versus 12 days, respectively. Patients who had more than one concussion prior to the most recent at any point in their lives had an even longer duration of symptoms, with a median of 28 days. Those whose earlier concussion occurred during the previous year faced symptoms for about 35 days.

Concussions can cause headaches, confusion or feeling foggy, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech and fatigue, the Mayo Clinic points out. Children who have suffered concussions and return to athletic activity before its healed can experience fatal brain swelling — known as second impact syndrome — following another blow to the head, Mayo added. Young people may also be prone to post-concussion syndrome, in which they have persistent concussion symptoms like headaches, irritability and dizziness.

In addition to having a previous concussion, the factors with the strongest association for predicting a need for longer recovery were a high score on the concussion symptoms test, not losing consciousness from the head blow, and being aged 13 or older.

Most high school football players would still play after concussion

Brain damage found in college football players who didn’t suffer concussions, study suggests

Concussions in kids may cause brain changes that last for months

The new study adds evidence that athletes may need longer than the previously-believed two-week recovery time after a concussion. About 3.8 million athletes suffer a concussion each year, putting them at risk for getting another concussion within 10 days.

“The most important piece of information that comes out of this study is, if you’ve had prior concussions, the 10- to 14-day (recovery) thing may be completely out the window,” Dr. Paul Comper, a neuropsychologist at the University of Toronto, who wasn’t involved in the new research, told Reuters. “For you, it might be a month.”

New concussion guidelines for athletes released in March by the American Academy of Neurology state “if in doubt, sit it out.” Athletes who experience headaches or other symptoms when they return to exercise are urged to stop immediately and consult a doctor.

That advice can be especially important for young people, given the reported risks of depression and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional athletes who had concussion histories. A recent survey of high school football players found half would return to the field after sustaining a head injury, even though most had knowledge about the health risks.

“The big question that still needs to be answered is, what are the long-term effects of these concussions?” Eisenberg said to Reuters.

The study was published in Pediatrics on June 10.

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You will have to learn to live with it or maybe not

You will have to learn to live with it or maybe not


It is reported that as many as 800,000 or 40% of the over 2 million coalition forces that have served in combat theatres over the last decade are struggling to deal with the silent debilitative injuries as a long term consequences of “mild Traumatic Brain Injury”. It is unfortunate that the U.S. Armed Forces continually adjust labels on these silent injuries. In the last ten years, labels such as mild Traumatic Brain Injury, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, post traumatic stress disorder, concussion, post combat syndrome, post-concussion syndrome, primary blast injury, tertiary blast injury have been interchangeably to describe the growing number of veterans that are afflicted. Is this really an effort to define these injuries for better treatment and follow-up care or an concerted effort on the part of the Departments of Defense to obscure the true impact of war on the service-members sent into harms way?

The mechanisms of visibly non-apparent brain injuries may be quite different, and if this true,  effective treatment may be also be quite different. We must steer away presumptive diagnosis that assume that because “WAR IS HELL” you therefore must be a casualty with psychological trauma. “Observational research” that assumes cause and effect relationships (ie. Number of firefights to incidence of PTSD) should be avoided. Numbers of casualties are mounting as the veterans with these silent injuries seek care. The Veteran’s Administration seems to be overwhelmed. Reports are coming to light, that impaired veterans are discharged without benefits that will help them to address service related injuries. This is not new. Approximately 300,000 veterans in the United States are homeless and sleep on the streets each night.  Is this a legacy of a grateful nation?

Over the last 95 years, veterans have gone to war on the behalf of the United States, at the discretion of the Commander in Chief. After these conflicts, a significant population of these veterans have never been the same,living a life with impairment. Is it not the obligation of this nation to care for those injured in the defence of the freedoms we as citizens enjoy? Nevertheless veterans and the families of veterans have struggled to receive care following each and every conflict fought. The time has come for us to step back and re-evaluate the approach we have to  treating and thanking veterans for their dedication and service and to reach out and let them their commitment has not been forgotten.


On the last 95 years the therapeutic approach to the silent wounds of war have focused on Acceptance, Submission, Accommodation and Compensation. This is a cookie cutter approach to  healthcare. Blasts, explosions, detonations, pressure changes from sustained firing of individual weapons in firefights, or firing of crew served weapons are pressure generating events. “Blasts inflict damage to the brain directly and by causing injuries to other organs, resulting in air emboli, hypoxia and shock.”  The effects of pressure change on the human body have been studied for over one hundred years. These effects are treatable when recognized.


On the 15th of November 2013, a research team from Israel published an article entitled “ Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Improve Post Concussion Syndrome Years after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury”. The U. S. DOD has been looking at Hyperbaric Oxygen as a treatment intervention for veterans with the silent or signature wound of the War on Terror for over 8 years. In that time 5 studies have run concurrently with less than 250 total subjects. In all cases those involved in the experience substantial improvements in quality of life. The researchers has written these positive responses off to a “placebo effect”. Isn’t it suspicious that over one billion dollars spent over the last decade on research initiatives on this injury have failed to produce a similar and replicated “Placebo effect”. When the results were reported to Army Surgeon General Eric Shumacher, his reply was “we need to get a cheaper placebo”.


How much more will take until see this effective treatment intervention used?







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Hyperbaric Treatment is successful in Chronic Brain Injury

    The USAF study from Brookes Air Force base has finally established that hyperbaric treatment benefits patients with mild chronic brain injury (mTBI ). However, the authors allege that the concept of the idling neurone is unproven, despite its acceptance by neurologists. In 1934, Courville described the persistence of neurons in the margin of a traumatised area of brain wound after an interval of 22 years. There have been many cases of recovery of consciousness in head-injured patients after years in coma. This is certain proof that brain cells can be revived when they are “not dead but sleeping.” 

 PB James

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The Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen for Cerebral Palsy

There are a number of studies around the world that have shown promise in the use of hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of cerebral palsy. The use of hyperbaric oxygen to treat Cerebral Palsy is not without controversy. But why? Could it be politically or economically driven? What is the reluctance to allow the application of oxygen under pressure to children with cerebral palsy? Perhaps the problem is getting physicians to read and understand the data.

Collet et al 2001 Lancet “The improvement seen in both groups for all dimensions tested deserves further consideration.” 111 children Quebec Canada

Senechal et al 2007 J.Amer Phys and Surgs; 12(4):109-113 Improvement in Gross Motor Function- Comparing HBOT to “Standard Therapies”

(1) Rate of improvement with HBOT upto 5 times faster than PT or dorsal rhizotomy with PT.

(2) HBOT one of the only therapies to show improvement in cognition and communication

(3) During the 2 months of HBOT treatment the rate of Progress was 15 times faster than during the 3 months follow-up when all usual therapies were reintroduced.

Quebec Canada

Montgomery et al 1999 Undersea and Hyper Med 26(4)235-242

(1) HBOT demonstrated improvement in gross motor function in three of five items in GMFM Test

(2) HBOT improved fine motor function in three of six hand tests.

(3) HBOT demonstrated reduced spasticity in three of four muscle groups when assessed by a physician specializing in CP.

(4) HBOT showed subjective improvement in four of nine questions posed to parents. 25 children Studied

Quebec Canada

Machado et al 1989 Sao Paulo Brazil 230 children studied

(1) Decrease in Spasticity in 95% of cases

(2) Improvement in Cognitive Functioning or in level of spasticity in 75.6% of the children


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