June 8, 2017
In children of all ages the most common injuries are those caused by traffic, drowning, burns by fire, falls and poisoning. Involuntary trauma is the greatest threat to children of 5 years old. It is for this reason that 830,000 minors1 per year die.
Meanwhile, boys are more exposed to injuries than girls. Although the pattern is less uniform in low and middle income countries, the differential factor by sex is evident. The rates of death due to trauma in boys under 20 years of age are one third higher than those of girls in the same age range.
How does treatment with hyperbaric oxygenation benefit children who suffered some type of domestic accident?
Trauma from traffic accidents: they are the leading cause of death between 10 and 19 years old. Hyperbaric Oxygenation Treatment (HBOT), in addition to contributing to the recovery of neurological brain injuries, is indicated in crush injuries. In this type of lesions it contributes to oxygenation, accelerates healing, it is an adjuvant therapy in infected wounds and, above all, contributes to the regeneration of the muscle fiber, considerably reducing the rate of amputations5.
Brain trauma, drowning and fire burns: in the case of drowning of children, cerebral hypoxia also produces long-term severe neurological injuries. HBOT aids in neurological recovery, since it contributes more efficiently to neuroplasticity in brain traumas.
About burns, it can promote scarring, reduce pain, prevent hypertrophic scar formation, reduce the incidence of infections and contribute to systemic oxygenation in pediatric patients with severe burns, considerably reducing sepsis and mortality in these patients6.
Who can perform HBOT?
The treatment is a non-invasive method and can be performed in patients of any age. “It must be applied quickly to obtain optimal results. Although, it is also effective in chronic insults in persistent post-concussion syndrome and mild brain injuries”, according to Liliana Jordá Vargas- biochemistry of BioBarica.
The patient enters a pressurized chamber where a mask allows him to breathe 100% oxygen, this gas is transported to the blood and manages to repair even the damaged tissues. The children can enter accompanied by an adult and with technological devices that allow him to listen to music or watch a video, also draw or perform some recreational activity.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A well-known case of drowning was the one of a 2-year-old girl who, after having been underwater for 40 minutes and with severe neurological injuries, was able to recover completely and had a favorable impact on society: https://www.lagranepoca.com/momentos/225558-nina-de-dos-anos-logra-una-recuperacion-milagrosa-de-un-dano-cerebral-catastrofico.html
2. Huang, L. and A. Obenaus, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury. Medical gas research, 2011. 1(1): p. 1.
3. Efrati, S. and E. Ben-Jacob, Reflections on the neurotherapeutic effects of hyperbaric oxygen. Expert review of Neurotherapeutics, 2014. 14(3): p. 233-236.
4. Harch PG, Andrews SR, Fogarty EF, Lucarini J, Van Meter KW. Case control study: hyperbaric oxygen treatment of mild traumatic brain injury persistent post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder.Med Gas Res. 2017;7(3):156-74
5. Bounachour G, Cronier P, Gouello J, Toulemonde L, Talha A, Alquier P. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Injuries: A randomized Double Bind placebo-controlled Clinical Trial. The Journal of Trauma. 1996;4 (2):333-339.
6. Cianci, P., et al., Adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of thermal burns. Undersea & hyperbaric medicine: journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc, 2012. 40(1): p. 89-108