Researchers at UC San Diego Health have joined a national research study called Hyperbaric Oxygen Brain Injury Treatment (HOBIT). Doctors at ten different centers and univerisity hospitals across the U.S. plan to administer hyperbaric oxygen therapy to newly brain injured patients. Injury to the brain is compounded by swelling and decreased blood flow, resulting in decreased oxygenation. HBOT's benefits have long been known to include its ability to decrease swelling and increase available oxygen to organs and tissues. HOBIT researchers first needed to complete the laborious process of gaining FDA approval for the authorized use of hospital hyperbaric chambers to treat acutely brain injured patients. Hospital hyperbaric therapy units have historically been tightly controlled and vastly underutilized due to narrow Medicare reimbursement limitations. With the FDA's special approval for acute brain injury, researchers are optimistic that they can show HBOT administered soon after brain injury improves overall recovery.
ABC News affiliate from Denver recently reported this story: Study Tests Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Hours After Severe Brain Injury