Brachial plexus injury and HBO2


We have treated a diver with a brachial plexus injury using only HBO2 with incremental improvement observable after each session. His injury was sustained when he was saturation diving in the North Sea and so the initial treatment was during the hold and decompression on the ship. However, we continued twice daily sessions in hospital for a month. Philip Low's group at the Mayo have been involved in the study of peripheral nerve injury for many years and have demonstrated the value of oxygen under hyperbaric conditions in recovery from sciatic nerve injury. Reference; Kihara M, McManis PG, Schmelzer J, et al. Experimental ischemic neuropathy; salvage with hyperbaric oxygenation. Ann Neurol 1995;37:89-94. "Hyperbaric oxygenation will effectively rescue nerve fibres from ischemic fiber degeneration, providing the ischemia is not extreme". Failure of oxygen delivery is the key component in ischemia. Their final conclusion: "HBO2 has significant potential in the treatment of human ischemic neuropathy".

Dr. Philip James,
Wolfson Hyperbaric Medicine, U.K.

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