Oxygen helps Severe Head Injury

Oxygen therapies for patients with severe traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, are more effective than just standard recommended intensive neurosurgical care, according to a new American study.

What is oxygen therapy?

Patients are given pure oxygen.  This can be at normal atmospheric pressure, when it is called normobaric hyperoxia therapy.  Alternatively, it can be whilst they are in a pressure chamber where the atmospheric pressure is higher than normal, when it is called hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What was the trial?

In total 42 severe TBI patients were, within 24 hours of their injury, randomly given either standard intensive neurosurgical care or oxygen therapy and standard care.  The neurosurgical care would include stabilising their condition, surgically removing haematomas, monitoring and treatment of high intracranial pressure (ICP).

The oxygen therapy patients, in addition to standard care, received pure oxygen delivered at 1.5 normal atmospheric pressure followed by additional hours of pure oxygen at normal atmospheric pressure.  This combined treatment was given every 24 hours over a three days period.

What was the outcome?
The patients who received the combined oxygen treatment did far better than those who only received standard care, having a reduced mortality rate and improved outcomes after 6 months.  They also showed better improvements than previously seen in studies when only one or other oxygen treatment was used.

Head Injury UK: Head Injury Legal Claims Experts

At Head Injury UK, our head injury legal claims experts welcome this promising study.  Even though it only involved a relatively small number of patients, the improvements in recovery were dramatic.  We understand a larger test is to be done and hope that the results will improve the care of the many people affected by head injuries every year.  If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury due to someone else’s fault, please contact Andy Shaw to see how we can help you.



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