Monday, 14 September 2009 13:06

What is Traumatic Brain Injury and How Does Oxygen Treat It?

Written by  Desiree Lotz
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Oxygen Deprivation

Hypoberic Oxygen TreatmentMost people know extreme oxygen deprivation causes death, but deprivation can come in varying degrees and causes; resulting in death to a few cells or many.

Because all cells need oxygen to work and live, low oxygen can affect every part of your body. It is vital that every one of your cells is constantly working and able to repair itself if you are to continue in good health.

Some Common Sources of Oxygen Deprivation

Oxygen deprivation can be caused by a wide array of factors ranging in severity from a serious vehicle injury or bomb blast -resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – to other major sources which include flying in aircraft with lowered oxygen levels, living at high altitudes, breathing increasingly polluted air, living and working in airconditioned buildings, poor air circulation in buildings, working underground or working in an environment where there is an abundance of toxic fumes. 

Although many forms of TBI are characterized by visible wounds, bleeding, swelling, discoloration and deformity; TBI can also occur with no visible signs of damage to the brain, such as in a bomb blast where there is no penetration but the brain is “thrown” about inside its protective skull or whiplash, where the head is jolted.

A local neurologist, Dr. Allan Spiegel, MD explains in layman’s terms, “Your skull is like a glass and the brain is like water in the glass. If you jolt the glass, the water sloshes around but the glass still maintains its structure. In the same way, when your head is jolted suddenly, your skull may not ‘break’ but your brain ‘sloshes’ around inside and ‘hits’ the bony structure of your skull, causing bruising.

“This can result in untold damage at a cellular level, causing either permanent damage or the start of neurological deterioration and premature aging.”

Short-term Symptoms

Some of the more severe complications include seizures, fluid in the brain, infection and organ failure. Less severe cases can cause headaches, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, tired eyes, ringing in the ears, fatigue, lethargy, or a change in sleep patterns.

Symptoms include inability to think, poor memory, inattention, inability to reason, lack of concentration, impairment in communication, lack of sensory processing, mood changes, depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out and social inappropriateness.

Is There a Solution to The Problem?

Fortunately there is. I interviewed Dr. Spiegel, who successfully treats people using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) at the National Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center in Palm Harbor. While Dr. Spiegel treats civilians with everything from cerebral palsy to diabetes to migraine headaches; he has also been very active in helping veterans recover from TBI.

Q: What is HBOT?
A: HBOT is a non-invasive medical treatment that uses pure oxygen to speed and enhance the body’s natural ability to heal. During HBOT all body fluids are infused with the healing benefits of 100% oxygen. HBOT reaches bones and tissues that are inaccessible by red blood cells and results in increased infection control and faster healing of a wide range of conditions.

Q: I understand that you have been on a mission for some time now to raise the Government’s awareness on the benefits of using HBOT to treat our injured Vets, care to elaborate?
A: That is correct, as an alternative to the VA’s current treatment method of using anti-psychotic drugs, despite the fact that NONE of their drugs are approved by the FDA to treat TBI.

Q: Have you seen soldiers who have benefited from using drugs to treat TBI?
A: No, they lack effective treatment. The traditional approach leaves the patient numb and dumb.

The drugs carry FDA Black Box warnings*, yet If they fail to take the drugs, they are threatened with Uniform Code of Military Justice action. The long-term use of most of these drugs also results in a loss of security clearance, which effectively ends the military career of these personnel.

The dangerous side effects listed on the black box warnings should not be the end result of a cure, especially for a section of the population that has been willing to lay lives on the line for their country. The least they deserve is proper care and a return to health in a positive way.

Q: I heard that you offered to treat veterans with TBI using HBOT for free?
A: Yes, and I have been on several trips to Washington to present evidence of the workability of oxygen therapy as an alternative to the VA’s present methods - with no luck.

As a clinical physician, I am involved with the treatment of members of the epidemic of US servicemen afflicted with TBI, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.

HBOT is the only FDAapproved treatment known to biologically repair and regenerate human tissue and activate growth factors at the DNA level and is approved to treat conditions like blunt force trauma, crush injury and non-healing wounds.

Q: After hitting a brick wall in Washington, you decided to start a non-profit network of practitioners to help our injured soldiers recover. Who would qualify to receive health care services from a practitioner in this group?
A: “Healing Heroes Network” is a nonprofit charity that was formed to provide care and assistance to returning military personnel who were injured in the line of duty.

Our purpose is to provide a network of medical providers, including chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and others who are willing to donate their time at no cost to the Vet.

Originally, the foundation was established to treat TBI and PTSD using HBOT, but it has expanded to include anything an injured Vet needs that isn’t covered by the VA, or is covered but takes too long to receive.

I am currently enrolling Vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from TBI or PTSD in a clinical study using HBOT. We are also accepting non-military patients although soldiers will be given preference.

If you are interested in more information on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, visit or or call the National Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center (727)-773-0083.

*These drugs contain FDA Black Box warnings urging caution in 17-24 year-olds which read: “Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior… in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.”

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