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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders usually characterized by impaired motor function.  The exact cause of the disease is usually difficult to pinpoint but can be due to trauma or injury to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth.  Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disease without a cure, but it is non-progressive, meaning that the symptoms do not get worse over time.  There are several options for therapy and treatments for the cerebral palsy patient.

One cerebral palsy therapy that has seen some measure of success is called hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatments.  HBOT has long been used in treating scuba divers for the “bends,” a potentially life-threatening event caused by ascending to the surface too quickly.  More recently, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has seen results in treating cerebral palsy sufferers.

During the treatment the patient enters a tank, either individually sized or group sized.  The tanks usually have comfortable seating, and sometimes even television or radio.  In the tank, the patient breathes 100% oxygen under pressure.  Normal outside air usually only contains about 20% oxygen.  This type of therapy is seen as infusing oxygen into the blood and organs, causing a regeneration and enhancement of certain tissues, organs, and bone structures. 

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is only given by prescription.  Both the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration approve HBOT.  Many insurance companies cover all or some of the costs for hyperbaric oxygen treatment.   Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is often part of a therapy combination treatment.  Overall, treatments often depend on the particular manifestation of a person’s cerebral palsy and can include HBOT, physical therapy, medication, adaptive equipment, surgeries, and other elements.

The treatment consists of heightening pressure in the environment depending on which type of disease or illness is to be treated.  In general, hyperbaric oxygen treatment for cerebral palsy relies on the severity of the pressure, duration of the time spent in the chamber, and the frequency of visits needed.  Side effects are very slight and rare, and the patient can leave immediately following HBOT.  The patient can also wear their own comfortable clothes and often there are things they can do to relax during treatment, like read or watch television.

In cerebral palsy patients, HBO can reduce pressure and swelling in the brain.  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also detoxify substances and blood in the brain and the body and can encourage the regeneration of damaged or dead blood vessels. 

Discuss this and any other treatments for cerebral palsy thoroughly with your doctors.  If the cerebral palsy was suspected of being caused by a medical or other mistake, hyperbaric oxygen therapy for CP can be covered through a cerebral palsy lawsuit.  Contact one of the experienced lawyers on this Web site immediately for a free consultation.


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