BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS

We frequently hear about brain injuries, but seem to think it can’t happen to us. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. who suffer from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year. 50,000 people die from TBI each year, and 85,000 people suffer long term disabilities. In the U.S., more than 5.3 million people live with disabilities caused by TBI. Those are alarmingly large numbers, but advancement in research and technology means we’re more equipped to deal with them.

First, it’s important to keep in mind that getting immediate medical treatment is critical in survival and recovery. Brain injuries can come from anything ranging from a mild concussion to a serious car accident. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, there are two types of brain injuries –  traumatic and non-traumatic. The word traumatic in this instance, means there was an outside force involved. Traumatic brain injuries include falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, or abuse/assault.  Non-traumatic injuries include strokes, seizures, electric shock, tumors, poisoning, drowning, choking and drug overdose.

While those injuries may seem obvious in theory, symptoms may show up immediately or could take a few days to develop. Some ways medical experts test for a head injury is by using the Glasgow Coma Scale. It evaluates responses in the patient’s vision, speech, mobility and several other factors. Once medical professionals have determined the severity of the brain injury, they can then begin to develop a treatment plan.

One treatment plan becoming more and more popular is using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). It’s a revolutionary way to treat brain injuries because it can often times speed up the recovery rate. Surveys given to patients or their family members showed that 96.7% of the patients improved one or more of their lost or diminished functions.

In HBOT, the patient is placed in a clear acrylic chamber on his/her back. The chamber is sealed with pressurized oxygen up to three times the normal air pressure.

The patient can see the surrounding areas, have constant communication with a technician through an intercom and even watch television while receiving treatment.

The added pressure provides the patient inside the chamber with 100% oxygen to breathe, which carries with it a variety of health benefits. The pressurized air helps speed up the healing process and improves circulation in the brain. The therapy increases brain activity by reducing oxygen deprivation and neuroinflammation.

HBOT frequently improves cognitive function, speech and language skills. It can also help with gross/fine motor skills and balance. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the only non-hormonal treatment approved by the FDA for the repair and regeneration of human tissue. While the benefits are often obvious, experts say HBOT must be used along with vigorous rehabilitation, which is imperative in all oxygen therapy.

To learn more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and the benefits of treatment, you can visit Johnson Medical Associates.