Mumbai: The Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) here announced that a four-year-long study it carried out shows promising results from the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in brain injury patients as an adjunct to intensive neurorehabilitation.
The hospital announced the results of the research on 100 patients in a persistent vegetative state/minimally conscious state at its Department for Management of Unconscious Patients in the KDAH Centre for Rehabilitation were recently presented at the prestigious European Society for Hyperbaric Medicine Meeting in Tel Aviv, said a spokesperson.
KDAH's Dr Abhishek Srivastava, a neurorehabilitation specialist and Director, Centre for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, said that the loss of consciousness or unconsciousness is the most devastating consequence of brain damage.
"Since early 2015, we have been using HBOT as an adjunct to intensive neurorehabilitation to treat patients in disorders of consciousness following brain injury. According to the results, HBOT can contribute to positive neurological and functional outcomes in patients with severe brain injury," he said.
The technologically advanced 'Perry Monoplace Hyperbaric Chamber' was used to administer HBOT, with each session lasting an hour, for a minimum of 12 sessions.
It was started on patients with brain injury once they were neurologically stable and out of the ICU and the number of HBOT sessions varied between 12 to 60 for the patients in the study.
They were also given comprehensive neurorehabilitation including neurocognitive pharmacotherapy, physical, occupational, speech and swallow therapies, he said.
In the patients with severe brain injury, the study shows that physician-supervised, comprehensive and multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation interventions, including HBOT, the course of the patient can be significantly altered with improved neurological and functional outcomes.
"The HBOT increases the amount of oxygen carried in the blood and promotes healing, and helps to fight infection, helping the patient to recover. The Glasgow Coma Scale scores increased by five points, indicating significant neurological recovery from very bad neurological damage and showing this can contribute to positive neurological and functional results," said Srivastava.
Of the 99 patients included in the study, 82 were males and rest females, comprising 49 with traumatic brain injury, 35 with intracerebral haemorrhage and 15 with ischemic stroke, and the age group was eight to 86, averaging to 48.8 years.
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