In an article posted today in THE HANS INDIA particular focus has been given to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as a new therapy treatment to be provided by Kaveri Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (KARM) .

It’s estimated that 1 in 50 among our fellow Indian brothers and sisters currently live with some form of disability.

KARM is celebrating the first anniversary of its inception by conducting a conference on a relatively new technology in rehabilitation – HBOT i.e. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy. Its utility is best seen in the acute or subacute stages of tissue injury- nerve, brain, limbs etc and is FDA approved. Injured tissues typically have 3 zones of viability- an irreversibly dead central zone, a live outer zone and a middle grey zone that is still viable (alive) but damaged. Without intervention, over time this area too will die thus increasing the overall size of irreversibly of the dead tissues.

HBOT is the only way to provide a larger dose of dissolved oxygen via the blood to the damaged tissue in an attempt to salvage the borderline tissue and hasten healing. Naturally, humans breathe air at 21% oxygen at 1ATA pressure. The patient availing HBOT is completely placed within a glass chamber wherein the pressure of the enclosed atmospheric air is raised to 1.5 to 3 ATA pressure. This results in a higher dissolved blood oxygen concentration which delivers turbo charged healing i.e. more oxygen to damaged grey zones results in faster and more complete healing, thus translating to better patient outcomes.

Though the medical effects of HBOT is known for centuries, it has not been utilised effectively. The conference theme was focused on application of HBOT in different medical conditions. After inception of this new speciality of rehabilitation medicine, HBOT has been used effectively for treating acute and chronic non-healing wounds, Diabetic foot, Pressure sores, burns, gangrene, lung disease like ILD, infections, fungal infections mucomycosis, non-healing fractures, neurological conditions like TBI, stroke, HIE, facial palsy, sensory neural deafness etc.

HBOT in rehabilitation is currently under subscribed due to lack of awareness. Sakra Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences, having a rich experience in the field of HBOT has thus conducted the conference to educate the rest of the medical fraternity in the nuances of HBOT related patient care. In Bengaluru, HBOT is also available under the PMR department of Whitefield Manipal Hospital, Aster CMI, Narayana health City and Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bengaluru.

We should be aware that anyone of us or our loved ones can get disabled overnight after an accident or stroke. Wouldn’t we prefer the access to high quality medical rehabilitation services? Shouldn’t we do our part to nourish the year-old sapling? Lack of awareness is the biggest hurdle in its growth. Awareness creation regarding the KARM chapter, the speciality of PMR and HBOT is the need of the hour as a stepping stone towards optimal rehabilitation service availability in Karnataka and India as a whole. Let us Turbo-charge Rehabilitation.