Welcome to our blog! -- the place to be to learn about growing up with pediatric brain injury and a wonderful little girl named Sarah, as told by Sarah's Mom!

HBOT Explained

One of the questions I am frequently asked is "What is HBOT?" Well, for starters, it's an acronym for "hyperbaric oxygen therapy," a method of administering pure oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure to a patient. In HBOT, a patient enters a special, pressurized "chamber" and receives up to 10-15 times more oxygen than s/he would under normal conditions. As a result, medical literature has documented that some of the effects of HBOT include enhanced immunity, renewed or accelerated growth of blood vessels (especially in the case of non-healing wounds), and reduction in soft tissue inflammation and swelling. For some children with moderate to severe cerebral palsy (CP), there is also evidence that HBOT improves motor skills, attention, language, play and, in still others, improves vision. Here is a money quote from a well-known research study conducted at Cornell University:
"This increase in attention is particularly important for children must be aware of their environment in order to learn. This represents a direct impact on cognitive functioning. The main differences between HBOT and traditional therapies are the rapid gains over time: and the impact on cognitive skills which, in general, are not improved by PT, OT, and speech therapies."
Recently, more research has been undertaken to examine whether changes in children like Sarah, who have CP, are the direct result of increased levels of oxygen -- as if the oxygen awakens "sleeping brain cells" as it were -- or the result of the intensive contact with the parent or other adult who accompanies them into the chamber.

Sarah and I have already experienced a partial course of HBOT (we were unable to complete a full coures) and found it hugely beneficial. Below is a video clip explaining more of what HBOT involves.

Credit: The RehabMart