Traumatic brain injury is a common health problem with significant effect on quality of life. Each year in the USA approximately 0.56% of the population suffer a head injury, with a case fatality rate of about 40% for severe injuries. These account for a high proportion of deaths in young adults. In the USA, 2% of the population live with long-term disabilities following head injuries. The major causes are motor vehicle crashes, falls, and violence (including attempted suicide). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the therapeutic administration of 100% oxygen at environmental pressures greater than 1 atmosphere absolute (ATA). This involves placing the patient in an airtight vessel, increasing the pressure within that vessel, and administering 100% oxygen for respiration. In this way, it is possible to deliver a greatly increased partial pressure of oxygen to the tissues. HBOT can improve oxygen supply to the injured brain, reduce the swelling associated with low oxygen levels and reduce the volume of brain that will ultimately perish. It is, therefore, possible that adding HBOT to the standard intensive care regimen may reduce patient death and disability. However, a concern for patients and families is that using HBOT may result in preventing a patient from dying only to leave them in a vegetative state, entirely dependent on medical care. There are also some potential adverse effects of the therapy, including damage to the ears, sinuses and lungs from the effects of the pressure and oxygen poisoning, so the benefits and risks of the therapy need to be carefully evaluated. To assess the effects of adjunctive HBOT for traumatic brain injury. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and DORCTHIM electronic databases. We also searched the reference lists of eligible articles, handsearched relevant journals and contacted researchers. All searches were updated to March 2012. Randomised studies comparing the effect of therapeutic regimens which included HBOT with those that did not, for people with traumatic brain injury.
Bennett, Trytko, Jonker, , , , , , (2012). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the adjunctive treatment of traumatic brain injury. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 2012 Dec;12():CD004609. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23235612