Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)
Physician Assistant Studies
Eric Van Hecke, PA-C
Background: Millions of Americans experience concussions every year. With new attention from the media looking into the long-term sequela of concussions, more research and studies are initiated to find an effective treatment. Concussions happen after an impact to the head or body that causes a pathologic disruption in normal brain function. Symptoms most commonly associated with the trauma are headaches, emotional distress, vestibular disturbances and sensitivity to light. Historically, treatment has been physical and cognitive rest.
Methods: A systematic search of PubMed was performed to identify articles pertaining to the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in concussions and traumatic brain injuries in all settings including; adults and children, sports related, civilian and service members. Clinical trials, review articles and animal studies were included, and research was synthesized to review the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on concussions.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Treatment employs increased atmospheric pressures and 100% oxygen to diffuse pure oxygen into hemoglobin and plasma, increasing oxygen saturation in hypoxic environments by as much as 700%. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a new treatment but has not been approved for many neurological diseases. Use of this therapy has been found to be quite safe and research has proven it to be effective.
Conclusion: More studies on the use of hyperbaric oxygen for concussion therapy is needed to support evidence-based medical decision making. Optimistic civilian and military patients worldwide hope that research will continue, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy will become a mainstay treatment for all scopes of severity in traumatic brain injuries.
Amundson, Crystal, "New Treatment Options for Concussions Using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy" (2020). Theses and Graduate Projects. 1056.