Hyperbaric Oxygen

It is recommended by all authors45'88"90 in patients with clinical symptoms because it reduces the volume of the embolus (effect of the high barometric pressure); it enables gas removal by denitrogenation (effect of the hyperoxygenation); it maintains oxygenation in the ischemic tissues; and it decreases intracranial pressure and cerebral oedema formation78.

In an animal model, it has been shown to decrease the harmful consequences of GE on intra-cranial pressure and brain metabolism even when applied with a some delay after the air injection91.

From a technical point of view, two HBO regimens are commonly employed, depending on the facilities available: (1) either a brief period of compression in air or mixed gas to six times atmospheric pressure (6ata) followed by several hours in pure oxygen at 2.8ata (e.g.: US Navy Treatment Table 6A), or (2) several hours compression in pure oxygen (e.g.: US Navy Treatment Table 6 or 9: at 2.8 or 2.5ata respectively). Both approaches seem clinically comparable90,92.

While symptoms remain HBOT is continued using therapy protocols similar to those used against cerebral anoxia.

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