Scientists believe that a new drug free treatment for patients with traumatic brain injuries may help accelerate their recovery time. According to firstcoastnews.com, doctors are placing injured soldiers in hyperbaric oxygen chambers. These are the same type of chambers used by deep sea divers to avoid getting decompression sickness (DCS; also known as divers’ disease or the bends) which is a condition that occurs when dissolved gases come out of their solution and become bubbles inside the human body upon decompression.
TBI patients undergo treatment in the oxygen rich environment of the chamber for 40 sessions, one hour each time. The pressure inside the tanks is similar to that experienced by a diver 17 feet under water.
Typical Type of Injury
Traumatic Brain Injuries are one of the two most common types of injuries suffered by soldiers coming back from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Together with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they have been dubbed the “hallmark injuries” of our returning wounded warriors. Given how often enemy insurgents resort to placing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by the side of roads and detonating them as our troops’ convoys go by, it is not surprising that traumatic brain injuries are so common. When an explosion occurs, the shock wave moves through the victim’s skull and throws the brain back and forth against the walls of the skull, causing grave injuries. The process is repeated as the victim hits a wall, a vehicle, the road or any other object against which he gets thrown.
Something very similar occurs to athletes and car accident victims. For example, it is not uncommon for the brain of a football player to suffer the same “bouncing” effect after their head hits the ground or makes contact with another player even thou they are wearing helmets. Car victims experience the same trauma as they get thrown head first against the dashboard, the roof of the car or even through the windshield. This is why it is so important to always buckle up.
Some Not So Visible Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Some traumatic brain injuries are obvious; some people are unable to walk, talk or function as the victim used to before the injury; some people become bedridden for life. Others, however, are not as obvious: cognitive problems, attention problems, loss of recent memories, not knowing what’s going on and behavior or temperamental problems are just a few examples.
Such was the case of William Cook, a 22 year-old soldier injured when he stepped on a mine while on his tour of duty in Iraq. He lost his left leg and suffered other injuries. Yet, while he could learn to walk again with the use of a prosthesis, he still didn’t feel quite well. He would have unexplainable mood swings, ranging from anger to sadness, and were always accompanied by extreme headaches. Luckily, a friend told him to go see Dr. Stephen Xemakis, a retired Army Brigadier General and psychiatrist who prescribed the hyperbaric chamber treatment.
Cook has already undergone most of the 40 sessions of treatment in the hyperbaric chamber and claims that he finally feels like himself again. Moreover, researchers have found that most patients start feeling better after only 20 sessions. An unbelievable 100 hundred percent of patients claim to feel better after receiving the full treatment. Dr. Xenakis says that he believes that the oxygen has a direct effect on both the neurons and on the small blood vessels in the brain. The treatment, however, is not cheap. Each session costs $250.00 and they are not covered by insurance companies.
We Can Help
With over 70 years of combined experience, the lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano can help victims that have suffered any kind of traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident recover the funds they need for their rehabilitation. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident, a truck accident, an amusement park accident or as a result of any other kind of accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases.
Please note that our practice has been extended with a new satellite office in Aventura to better serve clients that reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Dania & Dania Beach, Miramar, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Miami Gardens.
Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Traumatic Brain Injury Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have represented many clients that have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.