Hyperbaric Oxygen in COVID-19 and sequelae damage.

The severity of COVID-19 is related to the level of hypoxemia and its duration, respiratory failure, and its persistence despite normobaric oxygen supply.

Hyperbaric Oxygen contributes to reverse hypoxemia. In addition, it has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, since it regulates inflammatory cytokines and reduces exudate.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in COVID-19

Previous studies and documents

Recently, there have been reported benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen in patients with hypoxemic pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China; where the administration of repeated sessions of Hyperbaric Treatment decreased the need for mechanical ventilation in patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for COVID-19.

The Argentine Association of Hyperbaric Medicine and Research (AAMHEI) has investigated the potential role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in the care of patients with COVID-19. As a result, it has published a series of documents and procedures that can be applied by the authorities and healthcare facilities according to their requirements.

Protocol in Severe Hypoxemia

Medical professionals from the Muñiz, Santojanni, and Central de San Isidro hospitals in Buenos Aires, and the Argentine Association of Hyperbaric Medicine and Research (AAMHEI) developed a clinical trial with 40 patients with severe hypoxemia due to COVID-19. The objective was to demonstrate the effectiveness of hyperbaric treatment in the recovery of oxygen saturation. The study began in June 2020.

The preliminary results of the multicenter protocol show that the incorporation of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy recovers hypoxemia in severe patients. Researchers have reported a significant increase in oxygen saturation after 5 sessions (1 per day) of 90 minutes. The protocol was successfully completed, the manuscript is in preparation and will be published shortly.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Post-Covid

Post-Covid sequelae syndrome and its clinical manifestation is variable and is still under study. Cardio-respiratory damage compatible with fibrosis and some neurological findings are known due to sustained hypoxemia, inflammation, and the patient's immune response.

Hyperbaric Therapy has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that can reverse fibrosis and inflammation of the heart and/or lung, and improve hypoxemia even after the infection has resolved. In addition, it modulates the immune response of the patient.

The increase in neuroplasticity that is achieved with hyperbaric oxygen may be useful in the rehabilitation of neurological sequelae caused by sustained hypoxia in nervous and muscular tissue.

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