Oxygen Therapy for Flesh Eating Disease?

Oxygen Therapy for Flesh Eating Disease? The flesh-eating disease is typically treated with antibiotics but the Kent Hospital Wound Recovery Center is claiming that its hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can supposedly stop the disease.

From the Warwick Beacon:

The flesh-eating disease, necrotizing faciitis, has an 80 percent mortality rate, but with HBOT the disease is stopped almost instantly.

Stopped almost instantly, eh? We wonder what that means. But what is this hyperbaric oxygen therapy thingie which, to be honest, we are hearing about for the very first time?

More from the Warwick Beacon:

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is used to treat a variety of conditions including wounds that fail to heal because of radiation treatments, non-healing surgical wounds, bone and other infections and diabetic foot wounds. Emergency hyperbaric treatments are used for people exposed to carbon monoxide.

Initially, HBOT was developed as a treatment for diving disorders involving bubbles of gas in the tissues, such as decompression sickness and gas embolism known as the Bends. The chamber cures these disorders by increasing pressure, reducing the size of the gas bubbles and improving the transport of blood to downstream tissues.

The high concentrations of oxygen in the tissues are beneficial in keeping oxygen-starved tissues alive and have the effect of removing the nitrogen from the bubble, making it smaller until it consists only of oxygen, which is reabsorbed into the body. After elimination of bubbles, the pressure is gradually reduced back to atmospheric levels.

HBOT has been around since the early 1800s, but due to a lack of research it has not been widely used for treatments. Kent opened its hyperbaric center eight years ago and is now a 24-hour-a-day emergency treatment center.

Anyone out there who tried this hyberbaric oxygen therapy? Is it good or bad or what?

Photo credit: Warwick Beacon

Oxygen Therapy for Flesh Eating Disease? Posted 31 January 2010. Latest update on 31 January 2010.