The United States Department of Defense estimates that 22% of all combat casualties from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are brain injuries.60% to 80% of soldiers who have other blast injuries may also have traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
The results can be devastating: loss of memory, loss of executive functions, depression and even suicide. Blast exposure creates a signature injury in the brain, and as most soldiers have been exposed to repeated blasts, repetition means even more damage to the brain.
Treatment to date has been medication, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and anti-anxiety medications that result in little success. Unfortunately pills treat the symptoms and may cause even more damage.
One treatment that treats the cause and is having remarkable success is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a medical treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing process through breathing 100% oxygen in an enclosed chamber. The extra oxygen reaches all of the damaged tissues, help kill bacteria, reduce swelling and aid the body’s healing process. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) helps the brain heal itself without the aftereffects of over-medication.
Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are experts in the field of HBOT:
- Eddie Zant, M.D.: Medical Director, Hyperbaric Medicine Inc.
- Raymond H. Cralle, RPT: U.S. Marine Corps, retired; Cralle Physical Therapy Services, Oxygen Rescue Care Centers of America.
- Jeffrey Niezgoda, M.D.: President of the American College of Hyperbaric Oxygen; and,
- Col. Washington J. Sanchez, Jr.: (retired), who served in Vietnam, was wounded several times and many years later received a TBI diagnosis which HBOT treatment has helped vastly improve.
Unfortunately, the treatment is not always fully paid for by the Veterans Administration and many medical practitioners and physical therapists, Dr. Zant and Mr. Cralle included, offer the treatments pro bono.
Our guests are joined by: Dr. E. George Wolf, Jr., M.D., Colonel (ret), USAF, who talks about the Air Forces studies on HBOT and Matt Smotherman, Captain Oklahoma National Guard (retired). Mr. Smotherman was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, hit by three separate IUD’s, was diagnosed with TBI and hospitalized. The recipient of a Purple Heart, he came back from the conflict with little executive function and no hope. He was cured by HBOT and has since returned to law school and is scheduled to graduate .
More information on Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment is available from the American Association for Hyperbaric Awareness to which we are indebted for their help with this program.
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