Seventy-eight days after drowning in cold water and suffering cardiac arrest, being technically dead for nearly two hours, and being discharged from the hospital with no speech or any responsiveness to commands, a 2-year-old girl named Eden began HBOT. Imaging studies had shown major loss of brain volume. Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, became involved in her case 55 days after her drowning. He immediately recommended that she receive 100% oxygen through a nasal cannula at normal atmospheric pressures (normobaric oxygen therapy), and she became more alert and awake. When she finally could travel to his clinic in New Orleans, she began her treatments with 100% oxygen at increased atmospheric pressures (HBOT). After 10 sessions her mother said Eden had returned to “near normal.” After 40 sessions, Eden had reached near normal levels of neurological and motor function, speech levels greater than before the accident, and was removed from all medications. One hundred and sixty-two days after her accident, Eden’s brain showed near-complete return to normal.
According to Dr. Harch, this case suggests that intervening early after such an incident with a combination of normal pressure and increased pressure oxygen therapy, that reduces inflammation and triggers genes that drive cellular survival mechanisms, may have a “profound effect” in treating such patients.
Link to journal the article: Subacute normobaric oxygen and hyperbaric oxygen therapy in drowning, reversal of brain volume loss: a case report