Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has long been recognized as a potent form of alternative treatment for a multitude of conditions. This time, along with an integral surgery, it helped restore a severed finger.
Read on to know more.
Only in January last year, Lisa Cagle had got it all planned out for an exciting day of boat fishing. Little did she know, she would end up losing the tip of her middle finger.
And this is exactly how things unfolded on that fateful day. Lisa recalls how they were all making their way back to the dock, and her friend held the boat lines upfront while her husband was at the back. Lisa herself got the spring line, and no sooner did she put her finger right through the cleat, she ended up with her fingers in the middle of the line when the engines shifted gears.
The boat, which was pretty big at no less than 45-foot at least, had the surge tear away from her fingertip along with her fingernail. Luckily, Cagle was taken to the Emergency Dept. At the Broward where orthopedic surgeons successfully fixed her.
Cagle was attended by an orthopedic surgeon, Jacob S. Landes, D.O., who managed to reattach her severed fingertip. Reportedly, right after the fateful incident, Cagle had developed necrosis, which usually has to do with tissues or a specific organ stopping to respond due to lack of blood flow.
The attending doctor immediately sought to use a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to preserve the severed portion of the finger.
For Lisa, it wasn’t the first time she had heard about a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. She did some scuba diving in the past and was familiar with the alternate treatment form. Lisa was treated by Firaz R. Hosein, D.O., who seems to swear by the power of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and its wonderful impact on patients, especially in critical cases like this.
Nothing else served as a viable option without hyperbaric oxygen chambers, using which the intensive wound care team was not only able to save the injured body part but also mitigate the chances of amputation.
Lisa, who was treated for her severed body part to be restored saw dramatically positive results after she underwent a few hyperbaric sessions. She is now back at her work helping with the boating lines and owes it all to the Broward Health North for restoring her severed body part without running into difficulties.
Hyperbaric medicines have had a rich history of helping doctors and medical professionals even out critical scenarios where traditional approaches seem to fail.
By creating new blood vessels, the oxygen that is picked up by the bloodstream helps prevent an infection from growing any further. However, not many seem to be aware of the wonders of using a hyperbaric oxygen chamber which is said to deliver almost five times of regular oxygen that is inhaled naturally by people. With increasing air pressure, the lung can accumulate more oxygen and thereby help deliver the same to otherwise affected tissues.
As such, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber can be used for a range of infections, injuries from a crash or radiation, open wounds, restoration of skin grafts, and preserving severed limbs or body parts cut off from a steady stream of oxygen. In the case of Lisa, she was subjected to hyperbaric sessions for over two weeks before she felt normal again.
When asked about it, she said that she had been apprehensive about the treatment but she already knew about HBOT from her scuba diving experience and how it had helped several others to get better. For anyone who might want to try HBOT but feels skeptical, Lisa says that one mustn’t deter as the chambers are all made of glass, clear enough for the outside view, and don’t feel claustrophobic at all.
Also, the therapy in session is closely monitored by the attending medical staff who can help you with anything that you want when inside the chamber. The patient is free to watch TV, read a magazine, or relax by closing their eyes. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the hyperbaric sessions is how one feels rested after undergoing only a few sessions and reportedly sleep better for days.
Lisa also said how she was almost convinced that she would have to live the rest of her life with her severed finger, if not for HBOT. She is not only back to boating full time but also comfortable enough to handle the lines, just like before!
The medical world, time and again, has witnessed the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for a multitude of needs.
So much so, the FDA has gone ahead to recognize the use of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for a total of 14 different conditions that include the likes of gas embolism, radiation, crash injuries, decompression sickness, and others. However, the main challenge is in the form of accessibility as not all medical facilities are equipped with HBOT and one might have to approach a specialized center to avail the same.