New Orleans, Louisiana – Following the acceptance and release of his peer-reviewed commentary/analysis in Medical Gas Research that supports the use of hyperbaric treatment for patients suffering from COVID-19, Dr. Paul G. Harch, an Emergency Medicine and Undersea/Hyperbaric Medicine clinical physician, and full clinical professor of medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), is calling on academic medical centers and hospitals to allow for more clinical studies to further examine its effectiveness.
“In early March I released information suggesting that hyperbaric treatment was likely to be effective in treating COVID-19 pneumonia and respiratory failure,” Dr. Harch said, based on similar results found with the use of hyperbaric therapy during a previous viral pandemic. “Now we have the first of its kind peer-reviewed analysis published in an American medical journal pointing to HBOT being a potential avenue for treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia. All hands are on deck and I’m amazed at the support we’ve received from LSUHSC to move forward with a formal study.”
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a dual-component drug composed of increased pressure and increased oxygen that is delivered through a hyperbaric chamber. It is a treatment for wounds/infections whose primary action is to reverse hypoxia, treat disease processes/pathophysiology, and modulate the expression of over 8,101 genes in our 46 chromosomes.
“We want to begin to see how effective HBOT can be in treating COVID-19 patients in a clinical and safe environment,” Dr. Harch said. “The urgency to begin the study of this treatment is already heightened due to the very high per capita death rate of COVID-19 patients in New Orleans. This urgency is now a mandate due to the recent statistics showing that the citizens in New Orleans are differentially suffering the highest casualty rate from the virus.”
In the last two months Dr. Harch has been investigating the impact HBOT would have on COVID-19 patients. In addition to the original announcement of findings in March, last week saw the release of his peer-reviewed commentary/analysis in Medical Gas Research which further supports the use of hyperbaric oxygen treatment for patients suffering from COVID-19. The commentary/analysis in Medical Gas Research is based on additional evidence from Chinese physicians who had used HBOT to treat dying COVID-19 patients. The commentary notes that, “preliminary evidence from China strongly suggests that based on the immutable science of HBOT and recent clinical application to deteriorating severely hypoxemic COVID-19 pneumonia patients HBOT has significant potential to impact the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“It is critical we approach these methods carefully, to ensure we are executing this treatment in the safest manner possible. We are still looking for funding to help get this study moving as quickly as possible,” Dr. Harch said. “The best place to begin that work is in a controlled hospital environment so that we can best protect both the COVID-19 patients, other hospitalized patients and their families, and the medical staff.”
Dr. Harch is a John Hopkins-educated emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine clinician who is a pioneer in the use of Hyperbaric medicine for neurological disorders. He is the leading international expert in Hyperbaric Medicine, both in neurological and off-label applications. In March of 2020, he published the culmination of 34 years of clinical practice and research, a positive randomized trial of HBOT in the treatment of chronic traumatic brain injury/persistent post-concussion syndrome. The study can be freely accessed in Medical Gas Research, March 2020.
This article was originally published on KADN.