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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - the Future in Medical Treatment?

By Senior Associate, Military Claims

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is not a new treatment as it has been around since the 1800s but recently it has been used to treat an injured soldier resulting in significant improvements in his condition.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a specialist medical treatment that involves a patient breathing pure oxygen inside a pressurised room. The air pressure inside the room is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure.

The patient when, under these conditions, can gather more oxygen in their lungs than they normally would, thus resulting in the blood carrying the excess oxygen around the body to oxygen-deprived areas.

As the oxygen is distributed to the infected areas of the body, it fights bacteria and encourages the body’s natural healing process to repair damaged tissue.

What can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Heal?

In 1937 Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was originally used to treat decompression sickness which is a hazard of scuba and deep sea diving. In 1956, it was used as a therapeutic aid to cardiopulmonary surgery and in 1962 it was even used as part of the treatment for people with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Since then with the help of modern technology and further research by scientists, it is becoming apparent that neurological conditions, such as strokes and brain injuries are responding well to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Previously these conditions were all considered to have a negative outcome but with the help of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy the prospects for people affected by such injuries are improving greatly.

What can HBOT do for Armed Forces Personnel?

Military Accident Claims vary dramatically from one extreme to another as we see in the media all the time. But for one particular soldier an explosion left him with a broken back in three places; punctured lungs, multiple fracture to his ribs, a ruptured spleen and his cheek, nose and jaw shattered.

Most significant were a brain injury and amputation of both of his legs above the knee.  He has made great strides in learning to walk again with the use of prosthetic limbs and significant rehabilitation input over the last 8 years.

The soldier was in a coma for 4 months and the brain injuries he sustained resulted in him losing his speech. He has recently started a course of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and is already showing further signs of improvement.

This resurgence of an old treatment is potentially very positive for those service personnel suffering serious and life threatening injuries in the course of their military service.

If more can be done with the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to treat injured armed forces personnel, more lives can be saved and more families spared of saying goodbye to their loved ones because of military conflict.

Slater and Gordon Lawyer Zoe Sutton said, “This is a very exciting development in the treatment of very serious injuries and with more research on the success and effects of this treatment it could be a very positive step in the approach to the treatment of seriously injured soldiers. It could perhaps offer the hope of a more positive outcome in more cases”.

Zoe Sutton is a Senior Associate Lawyer specialising in Military Claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of a military accident injury claim. Call our No Win, No Fee Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a leading personal injury law firm with 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.