Issue: Is Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy a beneficial therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy?
Background: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is being promoted as a new therapy for children afflicted with cerebral palsy. It is being utilized by several specialized medical centers in the US, Europe and Canada. The rationale behind this therapy is inhalation of pressurized pure oxygen within a hyperbaric chamber, results in higher levels of dissolved oxygen within the blood (Liptak, 2005). Over 15 studies have been conducted to determine if increased oxygenation repairs the damaged brain cells of children with cerebral palsy.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the methods, results, and conclusions of the most recent literature to identify if HBOT therapy is beneficial or detrimental for children with CP.
Method: Studies were selected from scientific databases, professional journals and academic websites. Participants were limited to the pediatric population. Research had to be performed within the last 15 years and utilize only HBOT therapy.
Results: The studies reviewed, reported minimum improvements in function after treatment with hyperbaric oxygen. No organized studies were found that measured the adverse effects on children treated with HBOT, but complications have been associated with the treatment (Lacey & Pilati, 2012). There is wide deviation in the optimal or minimum ATA pressure, oxygen concentration, frequency and length of treatments needed to produce optimal results.
Discussion: There is insufficient evidence to determine whether the use of HBOT improves functional outcomes in children with cerebral palsy. Future trials of HBOT need improved design and better reporting before the effectiveness of HBOT as a treatment for cerebral palsy can be