Giving people back their lives!

Ronald McDonald House Child’s Testimony of HBOT for Brain Trauma

A Child’s Testimony of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Brain Trauma and the Warm Hospitality of the Ronald McDonald House

 The Ronald McDonald House of New Orleans  has been brightened up with the smiles and cheerful squeals of 4 year old Rusty Webb. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and has been undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatments at the Family Physicians Center with Dr. Paul Harch.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Healing Under Pressure

A Hyperbaric Oxygen Multiplace Chamber


Healing Under Pressure


A Testimony of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy By Kathy Summers



HBOT for Angiogenesis

Last summer I broke the neck of my femur clear through (technically a hip fracture) when my horse launched me like a rubber band into the dirt. But that wasn’t the scary part. The fracture was nothing compared to how I felt when the emergency room staff said the words “hip replacement. ”My orthopedic surgeon decided to try setting the bone first, but he gave me slim odds for healing. He said I had almost certainly severed the capillaries that feed the head of the femur, and with no backup blood flow it would begin to die (called avascular necrosis or AVN). When I asked what I could do to prevent this, he said, “Just one thing: hyperbaric oxygen. ”I immediately signed up for 20 daily treatments at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn in Scottsdale, Arizona.

How HBOT Benefits Maximum Medical Improvement

To benefit from this peculiar therapy all you do is breathe. The key is to breathe 100 percent pure oxygen through a mask or hood for one to two hours a day while sitting in a pressurized chamber. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) works according to a simple law of physics that says oxygen under pressure dissolves into the body’s fluids—including blood plasma, lymph, and cerebral spinal fluid—where it can speed healing.

Hyperbaric Chambers

Hyperbaric hospitals and clinics typically operate monoplace chambers that resemble glass coffins, but I shared dives (as they sometimes call the treatments) in a 12-person multiplace chamber that looks like a submarine. Other than some ear pressure aI healed completely with no complications and no need for a hip replacement. I was lucky because few orthopedic surgeons refer hip fracture patients for HBOTnd temperature changes similar to landing in an airplane, the experience is comfortable with no serious side effects.

In cases like mine, HBOT can help the body develop new blood vessels [angiogenesis], remodel bone, and reduce secondary swelling and bruising if it is provided soon enough after the injury or surgery. “When you reduce the inflammatory edema you get rid of the bruising a lot quicker, so you get better circulation to the injured areas,” says Dennis Weiland, MD, Scottsdale Healthcare’s director of hyperbaric medicine. In fact, not only did my deep bruises disappear quickly, I healed completely with no complications and no need for a hip replacement. I was lucky because few orthopedic surgeons refer hip fracture patients for HBOT. Doctors are more likely to prescribe the treatments for wounds that won’t heal.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Decompression Illness in Divers


Diana Marie Barratt, MD, MPH, Paul C. Harch MD, and Keith Van Meter, MD

(THE NEUROLOGIST 8:186-202, 2002)

BACKGROUND- Neurologists may be consulted to diagnose and treat the severe neurologic injuries that can occur in divers with decompression illness (DCI).

REVIEW SUMMARY- Subclinical bubbles form during normal diving activity. DCI, a diffuse and multifocal process, results when bubbles cause symptoms by exerting mass effect in tissues, or obstructing venous or arterial flow. The lower thoracic spinal cord is a commonly affected area of the central nervous system. The most commonly described form of brain DCI is cerebral arterial gas embolism with middle cerebral artery or vertebrobasilar distribution involvement. Bubbles exert secondary damage to the vascular endothelium, causing activation of numerous biochemical cascades.

CONCLUSIONS- Divers can develop DCI on very short dives or in shallow water, even when adhering to protocols. DCI should be strongly considered when divers experience pain after diving. Any neurologic symptoms after a dive are abnormal and should be attributed to DCI. Even doubtful cases should be treated immediately with hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT), after a chest x-ray to rule out pneumothorax. The Divers Alert Network should be contacted for emergency consultation. Delay to treatment can worsen outcome; however, the overwhelming majority of divers respond to HBOT even days to weeks after injury. Although DCI is a clinical diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging, somatosensory evoked potentials, single-photon emission tomography, and neuropsychologic testing help to document disease and monitor response to therapy. Divers should be treated with HBOT until they reach a clinical plateau. Complete relief of symptoms occurs in 50% to 70% of divers; 30% have partial relief.

Decompression illness (DCI) is a systemic disease that can result in severe neurologic consequences. Neurologists may be consulted to assist in the diagnosis and management of injured divers. This article reviews the English literature on the diagnosis and treatment of DCI, with an emphasis on United States practice patterns.

From the Department of Neurology, Louisiana State University in New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana and the Department of Medicine, Section of Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine, Louisiana State University in New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for TBI/PTSD Gives a Soldier His Life Back

Jake went down to Dr. Paul Harch’s office in Morrero LA, for Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy (HBOT) in December '08.  Jake was honorably discharged from the US Marine Corps due to a head injury.  He received HBOT treatment, and was in, what we believe, the best care possible.  We are still thankful for all of those that helped our son. 

To date, Jake is now enrolled at a local vocational school in welding.  Jake also managed to CLEP out of English, Reading and Math.  Prior to HBOT treatment this would not have been possible for my son.  He was unable to retain anything in his short-term memory.  He was unemployable as well.  Even working at a fast-food restaurant would have been impossible, because he’d have to remember orders, etc.  My son was incapable of working prior to treatment.  Though my son is not totally perfect, the improvements that we see in him from day to day leaves no doubt in our minds that Dr. Harch's Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy has given our son his life back.  He is able to function, able to go to school, and able to take care of his needs. 

HBOT treatment should be mandatory for all of our Soldiers and Marines returning from war whom have been subject to PTSD and/or TBI injuries.  This treatment presented results that words just cannot express.  The treatment has impacted our entire family because of the wonderful results we have witnessed.  My son is now able to sleep through most nights.  His nightmares have decreased, and his migraine headaches have also decreased.

The Hyperbaric Chamber: Science, Not Miracle by Nina Subbotina

Nina Subbotina M.D., Ph.D is a specialist in hyperbaric medicine. She is the author of the first scientific book about this specialty written in Spanish: Medicina Hiperbárica.  Here is a first look at her latest book The Hyperbaric Chamber: O2 Science Not Miracle.

Interview with Dr. Paul Harch: The Application of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Autism and Other Chronic Neurological Conditions

visit www.autismone.orgInterview with Dr. Paul Harch:
The application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in chronic neurological conditions



Paul G. Harch, MD and Teri Small


As hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) moves closer to a standard of care for many deemed ‘hopeless’ diseases it still remains a controversial and misunderstood treatment. Currently there are thirteen medical conditions approved for treatment with HBOT. But over twenty-two years of experience has shown Dr. Paul Harch astounding medical benefits when applied to diseases like Cerebral Palsy Autism, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, and many others. This interview explores the science behind these applications. 

Teri Small, from AutismOne Radio, and Dr. Harch talk about HBOT defined as a pharmaceutical and its pharmacologic effects in the application of HBOT to neurology, including autism. 

SPECT: Diagnostic Imaging that is Best for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

 Diagnostic Imaging and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Drs. P.G. Harch, R.A. Neubauer, J.M. Uszler, and P.B. James

The authors of the Appendix to K. K. Jain's Textbook of Hyperberic Medicine


What is Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic imaging plays an important role in diagnosis of diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). It is even more important in assessing the effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) on hypoxic/ischemic lesions of the brain. Various techniques that are relevant to HBOT include:

  • Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT Scan),
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan),
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI),
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy MR spectroscopy, or (MRS)

For practical purposes, SPECT using hexamethylpropyleneamine (HMPAO) or ethyl cysteinate dimer (ECD) is the most practical and widely used diagnostic procedure in combination with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. This technique is illustrated in this appendix.

Harch HBOT for Infant Problems with the Brain or Brain Trauma: Shaken Baby Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy CP, Infant Brain Injury

HBOT for an Infant/Child Brain Injury

According to Dr. Harch, "HBOT for infants is no different than HBOT for adults except that infants can be exquisitely sensitive to oxygen and thus, require careful dosing." In the early 1990s Dr. Harch began an investigation of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in pediatric brain injury.  Beginning with the first cerebral palsy (CP) child he applied HBOT and SPECT brain blood flow imaging (discussed below) to any child with a neurological diagnosis primarily involving the brain. What he found was that HBOT acted like a generic drug on a multitude of different brain disorders in children, including genetic disorders.

Angiogenesis: The Key to Harch HBOT Healing of a Wound


Angiogenesis: The Key to Hyperbaric Oxygen HBOT Therapy

by Paul Harch, M.D.


Researchers continue to document an increasing number of acute and chronic drug effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).  Acutely, HBOT corrects hypoxia [oxygen deprived], reduces edema, augments WBC-mediated bacterial killing, inhibits an aerobic bacteria, and profoundly decreases reperfusion injury. In chronic wounding HBOT induced effects are trophic: fibroblast proliferation, collagen deposition, epithelialization, and angiogenesis. The latter process is the basis for HBOT generated wound healing and the topic of this HBO on the Avenue.  

ANGIOGENESIS, or new blood vessel growth, is critical to wound healing. In normal wound management with minimal tissue destruction angiogenesis occurs without problems at the wound edge where a steep oxygen gradient exists. The stimulus for angiogenesis is hypoxia at the wound edge that causes various growth factors to be released from wound macrophages. This same hypoxia is responsible for retinopathy in newborns and preemies after abrupt withdrawal of supplemental oxygen and in newborn animals subjected to hypoxic environments. Hypoxia is similarly present in chronic or non-healing wounds, but the difference is that the oxygen gradient is very shallow.  While no one has defined the exact slope of the shallow gradient, i.e. the distance over which oxygen reduction occurs in a non-healing wound, it is the usual underlying pathophysiology in most non-healing chronic wounds. Besides large vessel revascularization, to date only one therapy has been shown to consistently correct the shallow oxygen gradient and induce angiogenesis: HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY. 

The best model so far developed to study shallow perfusion gradient wounds and the one in which HBOT's angiogenesis effects have been unequivocally demonstrated is irradiated tissue. External beam radiation causes a well-defined stereotypic delayed thrombosis of small blood vessels that is maximal at the center of the beam and tapers at the edges. Marx (1) exploited this wound in animals and humans to show that HBOT caused a progressive angiogenesis at the wound margin by generating a steep oxygen gradient with intermittent repetitive HBOT. Over a course of about 30 treatments new vessel growth infiltrated the wound and achieved pO₂'s of about 85% of control tissue. Similar HBOT angiogenesis has been achieved in animals by Manson (2), Rohr (3), Meltzer (4), Nemiroff (5), Zhao (6), and others. This is the underlying basis of all HBOT in chronic wounding and accounts for the ability to heal diabetic foot wounds, arterial insufficiency ulcers, traumatic ischemic wounds, bums, and other devascularized wounds, providing major arterial supply is not severely decreased. On reverse side is an example of HBOT's angiogenesis capability.


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