Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - any experiences?

billsreef

Anarchist
871
468
Miami
We have two hospitals in Miami with chambers and hyperbaric medicine departments. Mt. Sinai and Mercy. Mt. Sinai will not treat divers, as it would disrupt the big money treatments. Mercy's hyperbaric medicine department is headed by a diver, and they will divers. Got to meet Mercy's doc when they opened the department, he gave a bunch of us the tour and we learned a good bit. The demand for various hyperbaric treatments is such that they have several chambers that hold several people at the same time.
 

Se7en

Super Anarchist
1,499
607
Melbourne
I only know about it for getting rid of bends. Some dive boats have a pure O2 tank for DIY treatments, you hang out at about 20 feet breathing oxygen to purge the remaining nitrogen. I know anything past 30 feet (aka 1 bar aka 15 PSI) risks convulsions.
Pedantry alert
at 20 ft breathing pure O2 you are actually breathing a PPO2 of 1.6 bar (or ata). That's the accepted limit for a non exercising diver. At 33 ft, you'd be at a PPO2 of 2 bar. A standard hyperbaric treatment for diving injuries is at 2.8 bar PPO2. 6 hours of that and your lungs start to hurt.

Mixed gas diving we'd typically do around half of the total deco at 6m on O2. Booring as batshit hanging in one spot for that long - 2 hours of deco was where I'd start to lose interest. It needed to be a pretty special wreck to go beyond that for me. Interestingly, the accepted view was that the benefits of breathing pure (ish) O2 was greater than just the effect of not breathing in more inert gasses. Or as we used to joke, 1/2 hour of O2 forgives a lot of mistakes.

And yeah - it was pretty common to have folks get out of the water, start getting a bit sore, and get back in for some 'extended deco'. Much better / quicker than ending up in a chamber.

Non diving hyperbaric O2 treatment wise, I've looked into / read about it for treating MS and MNS. Conclusion was that there is no credible evidence that it makes a difference for either of those issues. I suspect that only disease where there is limited bloodflow to the extremities will be positively impacted by hyperbaric O2. (like diabetes etc)
 

cje

Anarchist
566
87
My treatment was for exactly that, increase blood flow to the bone. Amongst the handfuls of drugs is Pentoxifylline that apparently also helps with flow.
I don't dive but always curious. Our typical depth was 45' DSW. They said seawater but I asked if it was saltwater as salinity might factor, maybe nothing. I received this one odd Saturday as a recreational diver had an accident. They had been running all Friday night and are ready to assemble team and dive within one hour 24/7. We went to 65' that time and a little more than the typical full length feature movie time period. The dude was from south of border looked pretty embarrassed about it all or maybe thinking about the cost and was doing math in his head
If you guys care.... I am a systems guy, welder fabricator blah blah so was blown away at this equipment and most was hidden under floor plates. The main vessel has 8 seats 7+ one tech. The back side has a stand alone vessel that I believe has 4+ tech. They have a union area that allows access to either at any time in a short period of time. The redundancy, complication and maintenance was mind boggling. I cannot say enough good things about the staff, they are the best of the best and take their jobs very seriously which is very reassuring.
Many would leave for or come from ICU or emerg to do a full shift. They were always training as staff shortages were always threatening operations.
 

Recidivist

Super Anarchist
Reporting in. Now 28 sessions done and usually doing 3 per week. I should get 40 sessions done before we travel interstate in December.

Observations? Definitely a difference, but difficult to quantify. Certainly NOT Earth-shattering, but sufficient to keep me going. One thing is for sure - I seem to be time-travelling back through the symptoms as the neuropathy progressed. This isn't pleasant as hellish pain in the toes and feet is particularly bad at night when sleeping, but the positives keep me hopeful. Particularly as I was talking to an old bushy a while ago who has neuropathy and he said "Hell, you end up pissing yourself!"

If I am gaining separation from that outcome, I'm satisfied.

I have always found it difficult to get a primary care provider (GP in Aus) to take any interest in my neuropathy apart from prescribing chemical shit that I can't tolerate. This means I am managing the HBOT myself - not ideal but better than not being able to access it at all.

Another update when the 40 sessions are done - my expectation is that I'll continue with "maintenance" sessions, say one a week, for a while after that.
 

Recidivist

Super Anarchist
Reporting in as promised. Last session (no 43) was almost a month ago. I can say that there definitely has been an improvement. I lost the "socks" a long time ago, but the feeling came back and there is now more feeling than that in lower legs and feet. Not so much feeling as in being aware of rubbing against a chair leg, but feeling as in awareness that the limb is THERE, not just a lump of clay.

I would say the increased sensation continues to grow even without the sessions - I have more feeling now than when I stopped the sessions. And I continue to rely less and less on a walking stick - really only using it now for stability on stairs and uneven ground - was reliant on it for virtually all walking for the past 2 years.

Some earlier observations remain valid - I have numbness for the full length of all fingers, but some nerve regeneration is occurring. I can tell when regeneration occurs - it's like being stabbed with a red hot needle that is also carrying 10kv! When I had that in my big toe for a few days, I would wake often during the night from the pain. But, excruciating though it is, the pain is a sign of regeneration and improvement.

Overall - I think it's worth giving it a go if you are anything near as bad as I was/am. And I reckon that if something is going to give a benefit, it will alleviate your neuropathy no matter if it's diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy or from some other trigger.

I really wasn't looking forward to continued progression of the disease, but I am now considerably more hopeful of being able to live more comfortably and normally.

Happy to take PMs from anyone who would like more detail.

R
 

Recidivist

Super Anarchist
Hi Rec , came in there to bollock you for an update only to find I'm a little bit late ... :)
Gimmee a break Mid, I was doing the rellie run for Christmas! Weeks in the heartland of hayfever country!:cry:

But actually, that was useful, because it allowed me to realise that the improvements continued after the sessions ceased. I am much more "comfortable" now than I was in early December, and using the stick far less. It's complicated and I don't pretend to understand what's happening, but subjectively it's easy to say "yes, I'm better than I was".

Happy New Year to you, and all Anarchists (well, apart from the fuckwits I have on ignore, that is).

:)
 


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