June 25, 2020
The Santojanni Hospital will develop a clinical trial to study the impact of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in reducing recovery times and the need for mechanical ventilation in patients infected with COVID-19. This protocol will also take place at the Central Hospital of San Isidro
A group of doctors from the Santojanni Hospital of Buenos Aires will carry out a protocol that aims to analyze the effect that Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy could have to decrease the progression of hypoxemia (low oxygen level in the blood), respiratory disease, respirator requirement and recovery times in patients infected with COVID-19. This clinical trial will also take place at the Central Hospital of San Isidro.
The principal investigator is Dr. Guillermo Alberto Keller, who has extensive research experience. The protocol has the endorsement of the Argentine Association of Hyperbaric Medicine and Research (AAMHEI) and the coordination of its president, Dr. Mariana Cannellotto. The Hyperbaric Chamber was donated BioBarica with the approval of the Ministry of Health of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires.
The Central Hospital of San isidro and the Santojanni Hospital are the first health institutions to incorporate Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19 in Argentina. It should be noted that this method is already used in countries such as China and the United States.
The Santojanni is also the third hospital of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires that has a Revitalair® hyperbaric chamber to develop a research protocol. It joins the Arturo U. Ilia Hospital for Burns and the Ramos Mejía Hospital, which have obtained excellent results with the application of Hyperbaric Treatment in wounds, burns, and injuries after cancer treatment.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and how would it work in COVID-19?
Hyperbaric Oxygenation Treatment consists of breathing high concentrations of oxygen (O2) within a pressurized chamber above normal atmospheric pressure. For clinical use, the pressure must be at least 1.4 ATA. Hyperbaric oxygenation is used as primary therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning or as an adjunct treatment in pathologies with inadequate oxygen supply to the tissues.
Hyperbaric Therapy produces an increase in pulmonary oxygenation and increases the immune response. Given the emergence of patients with COVID-19, it could be used in infected patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure who do not have pulmonary contraindications. It can contribute to recovering the acute hypoxic phase (without oxygen) of the disease, reducing the inflammatory phase, promoting recovery, and speeding up the times for the release of hospital beds.
In 5 cases of COVID-19 treated in China during the first trimester of the year, there were obtained results such as reduction of dyspnea and chest pain, a decrease in respiratory rate, and relief in shortness of breath. Arterial oxygen values were recovered and pulmonary improvement was evident since tomography showed lower levels of inflammation in the tissue.