Experiments with Pressurized Oxygen Chambers to Help Treat Veterans with Brain Injury

19 Sep 2011

The large number of veterans returning from combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan has caused the U.S. military to invest heavily in brain injury treatment research. The Department of Defense is now investigating the use of pressurized oxygen chambers in order to treat a brain injury. The theory is that prolonged exposure to pure oxygen will help treat the injury. These are the same chambers used to treat decompression sickness involving divers.

According to researchers who spoke to the Associated Press, they don't know whether the pressurized chambers will help, but believe that this is a theory worth following.

The incidence of traumatic brain injury among veterans has expanded to epidemic proportions. In fact, the rates of brain injury among veterans is likely far higher than injuries affecting football players, and yet, to California veterans benefits lawyers, there seems to be far more attention devoted to combating brain injuries among NFL players.

Soldiers in the 21st century may be injured from improvised explosive devices that set off multiple shock waves. The shockwaves alone may be strong enough to cause an injury. They may be no other physical injuries, but a veteran may have suffered a potentially devastating brain injury. Besides improvised explosive devices, rocket propelled grenades are also blamed for the high numbers of brain injuries affecting veterans.

Over the past decade, the military has begun to take brain injury among veterans more seriously. The military now requires a veteran with a brain injury to be treated immediately by medical personnel who are specially trained to treat traumatic brain injury. In the past, these people were evacuated to the nearest military hospital, wasting precious minutes in the process. The extent and severity of a brain injury can be minimized if emergency treatment begins immediately to reduce the size of blood clots and limit damage.