Holistic Family Health – Herndon
459A Carlisle Drive
Herndon, VA 20170
Holistic Family Health – Winchester
153 Creekside Lane
Winchester, VA 22601
Marked Improvements In Stroke Victims With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
A stroke occurs when normal blood flow to the brain gets cut off or when a blood vessel ruptures, resulting in significant damage to brain tissues. To function properly, the brain requires a constant flow of oxygen delivered by the bloodstream. When this oxygen suddenly gets cut off due to a blood clot, blocked artery, plaque buildup in the arteries or bleeding in the brain, a stroke can result. Brain injuries quickly follow that hinders or even stops the functions that the afflicted brain parts would normally perform. Regaining these functions can take months or years, and some suffer permanent damage.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) helps improve blood flow to damaged brain tissues. The area of dead brain tissue is referred to as an infarct. The chief factor in the ability to recover is the infarct’s location, size and the amount of the surrounding area, or penumbra.
HBOT floods the brain with pure oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure to reduce swelling. Throughout treatment new blood vessels form, bringing vital nutrition to the injured areas in order for them to begin healing. In many cases function is improved or restored. HBOT is painless and completely non-invasive.
Success Rate of HBOT
In one study, doctors treated 122 stroke sufferers with HBOT. Of them, 16 patients got treatment within four hours following the stroke, and 79 patients got HBOT anywhere from five months to 10 years following the initial stroke – far beyond the time expected to experience spontaneous improvement.
Before the study, many of those 79 patients had undergone physical and occupational therapy, but still suffered from significant impairment. After HBOT, 62 percent reported an improved quality of life – including the ability to walk again. Of 59 patients who had been bedridden, or in a wheelchair, 27 were able to walk again, either with a cane or independently.
Data also showed that patients receiving HBOT spent an average of 177 days hospitalized. That’s just three-fifths of the time it took for conventionally treated patients to get released. All HBOT patients were able to go directly home, while a large number of other patients required further rehabilitation at a facility.
Neurologists generally agree that patients are able to achieve 95% of their potential improvement within six months of the initial stroke, with an additional 5% occurring by the end of the first year. Though neither HBOT nor any other treatment to date can revive the dead brain tissues that strokes cause, HBOT shows extremely good results in healing the penumbra, the area between damaged tissues and the rest of the non-impacted brain.