Hyberbaric Oxygen Treatments have been used for years to treat issues such as anemia, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide, just to name a few (according to the Mayo Clinic).
But now, it’s being used in the fight against the coronavirus.
“We started our center in 1993 and during that time we have performed over 83,000 hyperbaric treatments without any significant complications,” says Dr. Kerry Thibodeaux, General Surgeon/Wound Care Specialist with Opelousas General, while citing it’s “proven safety record.”
“It’s main affect is to increase the oxygen concentration within the body by a factor of ten fold so that you can deliver a tremendous amount of oxygen into the patient’s body by being inside one of these chambers at increased atmospheric pressure with 100% oxygen being pumped in.”
Dr. Thibodeaux went on to explain the difference between treating a patient with hyperbaric treatments as opposed to a ventilator.
“The advantage of the hyperbaric chamber is that it’s not invasive, so the patient doesn’t have to be intubated,” explains Dr. Thibodeaux. “They’re placed in a chamber and they’re breathing normally, and they don’t require the support of a machine. The ventilator itself requires pressure to drive oxygen into the lung, and that exposure to that pressure can worsen the lung damage that’s already being caused by the virus.”
LISTEN to Dr. Thibodeaux as he makes a guest appearance on OFFSIDES with Brandon Comeaux and Shannon Wilkerson and further explains how Opelousas General is “winning” in the fight against COVID-19.