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  • Thursday, November 30, 2017

    VA to Start Limited Use of HBOT for PTSD

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced Nov. 29 that it will offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a treatment option for a small number of veterans with persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms resistant to standard options. Treatment initially will be offered in California and Oklahoma.

    The American Legion Department of New York has been advocating HBOT as an alternative treatment for post traumatic stress and minor traumatic brain injury.

    HBOT is a procedure that increases oxygen in the body, under pressure, to encourage healing. Currently, HBOT is commonly used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, divers’ sickness, enhanced healing of some wound problems, skin grafts, heat burns, crush injuries and other acute health-care issues that involve too little blood flow to a part of the body.

    The VA reports that the use of HBOT for treatment of PTSD is considered an “off-label” use and will occur under the supervision of a trained physician.

    Separately, VA and the Department of Defense are planning a multisite research study to examine more fully the use of HBOT for patients diagnosed with PTSD.