Veterans Affairs plans to start a new PTSD treatment using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to evaluate efficacy for nationwide use.

Use of HBOT to treat PTSD will be used on a small number of veterans through the VA Center for Compassionate Innovation (CCI). The agency will treat veterans at Oklahoma State Medical Center and the David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base located outside of Sacramento, California.

As stated, hyperbaric treatment for PTSD is off-label. This means the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved this type of therapy for PTSD. However, according to VA, health care providers can make use of HBOT if they believe it is medically appropriate. Right now, VA maintains some veterans with PTSD do benefit.

CCI played a role in coordinating the agency and community resources to use HBOT on a subset of veterans with persistent PTSD despite the use of two evidence-based treatments for the condition. VA is assessing the effectiveness of HBOT to evaluate using the therapy nationwide.

RELATED: Is Army PTSD Misdiagnosis Scheme A Fraud?

PTSD treatment is not the only off-label use of hyperbaric systems. Patients with the following conditions may also experience benefits from HBOT:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Lyme Disease
  • Migraine
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Near Drowning
  • Recovery from Plastic Surgery
  • Sports Injuries
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

On-label uses of HBOT include treatment for burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

VAntage Point Blog

From the VAntage Point Blog:

Exploring a Retro Solution to Reduce PTSD Symptoms

Dr. Jason Kelly, an active-duty physician and administrator of the Grant Medical Center Hyperbaric Clinic, said his team is excited about welcoming new Veterans to the treatment facility.

“My first and foremost concern is for the patients,” he said. “The Veterans we expect to treat here will have struggled with other therapies. If we can reduce their symptoms, we will really be providing a boost to their overall health.”

Hyperbaric oxygen treatments have come a long way since the 1930s. The treatments are now used to help wounds heal, treat carbon monoxide poisoning and provide care for other medical conditions. HBOT is a generally painless procedure that increases oxygen in the body, under pressure, to encourage healing.

The complex HBOT chambers are expensive to build, operate and maintain, and are in high demand for varied medical conditions. Hyperbaric chambers are often found on military bases, at free-standing community clinics and at larger medical research facilities. As such, the CCI-facilitated collaboration between VA and community clinics to provide this service was an easy choice.

The Travis clinic is unique in having two types of chambers: a chamber for a single patient, enclosed and tube-like with a large viewing window; and a multiplace chamber, capable of treating up to 40 patients at once.

Extending a Promising Treatment to Veterans

Dr. Kelly said his facility currently provides HBOT for 14 different conditions, including chronic wounds and radiation injuries experienced by patients undergoing cancer treatment.

“We are all aware that PTSD is extensive in our Veteran population,” Dr. Kelly said. “For folks out there who haven’t improved under traditional methods, we should really look at any other options we have — like HBOT — to help provide additional treatment.”

CCI was established by VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin to support safe and ethical innovations to enhance Veterans’ physical and mental well-being. CCI is primarily interested in emerging therapies that address PTSD, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and suicidality.

Source: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/43875/hyperbaric-treatments-offer-new-promise-veterans-chronic-ptsd/

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54 COMMENTS

  1. 12/18/2017

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Here in Phoenix, AZ there is a guy making these Hyperbaric Chambers, I ran into him a few times in 2006; however, he did not discuss it much.

    Many people are underrating the technology [refrained from using the technology]; resulting in more problems to ill patents and possibly caused their deaths.

    If these chambers were used more often, we would be further down the road with what works and what does not work using these Hyperbaric Chambers. Here is an area where the VA is scared to use the technology and the VA has progressed slowly with unknown results; but yet, the VA sinks millions in IT [Lockhead] recording keeping getting very little for their money.

    Again, we have to consider the Management and their objective/intent.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  2. Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Another VA scam! HBOT has no proven on PTSD, hell if you have PTSD with claustrophobia, good luck in holding that patient down. HBOT is recognized by medicare for billing, yes another VA $$$ money making scheme to show “medical necessity and the need for more $$$.
    In the military, yet alone in any diving application i e tri mix or open water diving. The chamber was used for elimination of gases. Pneumothorax is a contraindication in its use, many other ailments have not been proven, but radiation injury is one to be explored.
    All I can see the use for these chambers at VA is to march all the fat ass nurses and employees into them to decompress the bullshit coming from them.
    In medicine hospitals like to flaunt titles.
    VA wants to ‘promote’ that they have hyperbaric therapy for PR purposes.
    Then 6 months later an IG report that a nurse misused a hyperbaric chamber , by getting her raggedy tits caught in one of the controls, but the IG won’t conclude that she was fucking up some cheesy poofs and have sex in there.
    What a joke!
    VA wants to pay the SES to get Naui and Padi certified by the way for their next Scuba class on VA grounds.

    • “CorpsmanUp”,
      Yep, I can see the “double billing” NOW! First, monies from the taxpayers, then monies from billing Medicare!
      That’s about the size of it!

    • More like VA SES’ers wanting an excuse for paid training vacation scuba diving training in Aruba or…some Disney Resort where McDonald is serving the drinks in a grass skirt and Mickey Ears. 😀 (sorry, too much o2 there)

    • You may be right CU that the VA would screw this up, but if Nurse Tunabeast could keep her tits outta the works, it may benefit vets in other ways such that their PTSD is more manageable.

      If the veteran could get the treatment and if the VA doesn’t leave it in a crate in a back room for several years.

      I’ve read of some athletes using various kinds of oxygen therapy to promote healing and speed recovery. I can imagine a veteran with PTSD might have other physical injuries they are dealing with, and oxygen therapy may actually provide or promote healing rather than a vet living with pain or open wounds turning gangrenous from lack of proper care by other VA quacks. Hell, tossing a vet into a chamber after a VA surgery might even keep them alive in spite of VA efforts to kill them.

      On the other hand, I’m surprised the VA hasn’t proposed a multi-million, multi-year study to see if all the vets running around with oxygen bottles have reduced PTSD symptoms.

      I may be looking too hard for a silver lining though and missing VA employees filling it with helium for their Halloween parties.

      • A better and rather cheap way for relieving all Veteran’s PTSD symptoms daily is a shooting range with only the photos of the VA’s very worse hacks on those target pages. Would never run out of variety of hack photos to utilize. Stress-relief with the aromatherapy of gun powder.

      • We should announce daily the VA employee of the day on this site. We can call it the” VA Tuna Beast Vangard Award” . With a corny announcer voice like Chuck Woolery and shit.

        “And today’s TunaBeast Vanguard Award goes to…….. Sharon the knockwurst gut Helman ” (man in background yelling “stupid bitch” and hits her on the head with a stale pizza crust)”

      • Shooters, load 1 30 round magazine, and watch your lane.

        Brings back some good memories.

        Sadly I’m a felon, crazy, and I smoke cannabis. My rights will continue to be infringed upon.

        On the other hand nobody said I couldn’t keep a Spanish rapier around for home defense 😀 😀 😀

      • Never, ever discount the power behind a really good slingshot. No license or permission needed, and this time of year lumps of coal will take-down any pesky ‘goliath’. 😀 😀

      • Very true however, nothing says satisfying to me like ramming a length of sharp steel through some assholes gut and watching it come out the back side. Besides. Aren’t swords considered the weapon of a gentleman? 😀

      • hand held, pneumatically deployed, harpoon cannon…I do believe you’re on to something 😀

        I mean at the end of the day it’s not a firearm 😀

        Even better would be a tag system so in the event the criminal escapes he can be tracked down via GPS

        “Put your hands behind your back, you match the description.”

        “yeah what description is that?”

        “Guy with a harpoon hanging out of his leg”

        I should go do standup

      • WyldeCylde,
        Only “Rapiers”, of no more than 3 ft in length, are considered to be “A Gentleman’s Weapon!”
        I believe they were used for approximately 300 to 400 years. All the way up to the early 1800 hundreds!

    • Aren’t those floats dragged down NYC streets in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
      each year with ropes attached to them patients bodies who had hyperbaric oxygen blown into them the night before? They have experimented with that for over a half-century. Many of the floats were sold to Macy’s Parade Organizers by the VA, and has always been a cash cow for them – for decades and decades – and SHIT. The VA failed to be transparent about this , however. Those floats are the ones who didn’t do too well and had to be repurposed for sale….. and SHIT.

  3. “LAB RATS”!! Having this administered on a MAYBE?? Best wishes on compensation for their time. A way to gather numbers “in case” it works. Just like electroshock treatments was tried.

  4. As I read Ben’s blog, and got to the part about the two types of “chambers” being used, the FIRST thing that came to my mind was – I’m extremely “claustrophobic”!
    Ain’t no way I’m setting foot in that thing! IF I’m not allowed, or able, to run, walk or crawl, under my own power, out of some inclosed space – I ain’t getting in it!
    Then, I scrolled down to the “comments section”, and lo and behold, “CorpsmanUp” stated the obvious about people with this condition. “God help trying to hold them down to put them inside one of these coffins!” And, I don’t care how many extra are inside!

    That’s ALL I gotta say about this bullshit!

    • @Crazy elf- I’m with you: No Escape, No Entry. Plus, the thought of some VA hack being in total control of my oxygen and it not being mistaken for carbon monoxide instead of O2 because the VA hack did not learn that English word on his/her mud hut before importing to USA…

    • I was fortunate enough to have worked on a Mobile Sea Base with one on it! Nitrogen narcosis aka the bends. Is no joke. As a corpsman, masterchief or top will neutralize your shit if you didnt know what you were doing. The dive med techs knew their shit!
      All the controls are different now compared to using the old dive calipers.
      Good luck VA in getting an arterial blood gas! That alone will get your nurses head caved in by showing incompetence.

      • CorpsmanUp, Crazy Elf and nam, I’m wondering how many years the VA would ignore claustrophobic vets, or the possibility of mitigating claustrophobia using a Virtual Reality headset a vet could wear with outdoors scenes.

        But then, I think of the VR headsets being used by AFGE hacks to get off on Porn, or the AFGE hack going home early and forgetting a vet is in the chamber. Liquefying.

  5. Snake Oil. That chamber would only be effective for PTSD if pumped full of medical grade marijuana vapor.
    What about claustrophobic or agoraphobic PTSD Vets? I can only see the VA strapping Vets down in chamber while VA Nurse Ratchet clicks her 5 inch ratty fingernail extensions together in the high 02 atmosphere, causing a spark and….**pOOf**.
    Highly explosive oxygen and greasy VA employees: what could possibly go wrong?

  6. The VA operating a hyperbaric chamber would naturally mean the VA is only hiring ex-state penitentiary gas chamber operators or students of Dr. Kevorkian to operate these chambers?

  7. if you throw enough shit at something, something will stick. Only problem with government throwing things, there is nothing being hurled that does not cost billions and does little good

  8. I can’t see a negative in any human having increased oxygen in their body. If nothing else, it may make a veteran dealing with multiple problems feel much better overall, and lessen the symptoms of PTSD. The question is, for how long? The second question is, if this treatment is expensive, how many veterans will be treated using it? And how many years of trying various pills will a veteran have to go through before some VA shrink is convinced the veteran might benefit from it?

    Finally, does this sound like an admission from the VA that their treatments for PTSD may not be as effective as they claim?

  9. I think I am ready to actaully give this a FAIR REVIEW!

    Before I make another hasty post, I really do want to know the answers to the following concerns of mine as a PTSD patient;

    1) What if the VA nurse turns on the chamber then goes and takes a shit? Is it like a pressure cooker valve on top that wiggles when the chamber gets too much pressure going on?

    2) Are they going to let the same people who run the VA dishwashers for surgical gear operate the chambers too?

    3) Will the local Disruptive Behavior Committee have the authority to require “chamber time” to a patient before allowing upset veterans on property?

    4) Could these chambers be used to hold other stuff when not in use like body bags?

    5) What if right in the middle of a deep session I gotta go pee? Do I go on the chamber wall or on one of my neighbors?

    6) After the chamber door gets bolted shut do people normally stayed clothed?

    7) Will my nuts pop up into their nut holes when the pressure gets turned on and does it hurt much?

  10. ok time to do some paraphrasing here…

    From the article

    “If we can reduce their symptoms, we will really be providing a boost to their overall health.”

    Should read

    “If we can reduce their symptoms, we will really be providing a boost to our yearly bonus check.

    From the article

    “The complex HBOT chambers are expensive to build, operate and maintain, and are in high demand for varied medical conditions.”

    Should read

    “The complex HBOT chambers are expensive to build, operate and maintain thus ensuring an ongoing budget drain for the next 20 years.”

    From the article

    “The Travis clinic is unique in having two types of chambers: a chamber for a single patient, enclosed and tube-like with a large viewing window; and a multiplace chamber, capable of treating up to 40 patients at once.”

    Should read

    “The Travis clinic is unique in having two types of chambers: The single screw unit, with a large viewing window which has plenty of space for VA piggies and Rand Corp yes men to view the hapless vet writhing in pain and turning blue because somebody “accidentally” stepped on the oxygen hose. We also offer the large 40 unit “shower” party, shower heads sold separately,”

    But seriously, just how the holy fuck is this supposed to treat my PTSD? The article doesn’t say jack shit about how pumping a vet full of oxygen magically reduces PTSD symptomology???

    What it sounds like to me is simply a way for the VA to mismanage yet more funds so they can pop a vet into a metal room, let him sit around for however long. Then, when he leaves. “Oh by the way since you’re now “feeling better” we’re reducing your benefits.

    This is going to turn into yet another huge boondoggle. Just like the 10 space 25 million USD parking lot or the storage rooms full of large screen TV’s from 10 years ago that are still sitting in their boxes. Where the fuck is Congress on all of this? Too busy voting themselves permanent tax breaks

    • Today’s story left-out the part of just how the VA plans to relieve PTSD symptoms in these chambers: The VA will spare no expense and contract a warehouse full of activity books and crayons for Vets to relieve their tensions while being fed various gaseous substances…the coloring activity book’s theme will of course be Travel Pay Fraud Warning Activity Books. (the wax content of crayon and pure oxygen may cause a few sparks here and there …all for research) 😀

      • In reading the comments, you have to wonder how this squares with the VA push for telemedicine.

        Do they continue pushing for telemedicine? I suppose they could if they also push for cameras in a converted broom closet and call it a chamber with time locks on the doors.

        And to make vets feel extra good, pump in some vaporized valium.

      • Any bets on how often some AFGE hack pumps the wrong gas into a chamber?

        How often would a director order tanks of Argon if it were cheaper so he could get a bonus?

    • when the VA is involved, “could” “might” “maybe”” should” and “if” are words that scare the shit out of me. Had a good friend’s dad die during a stress test session on a treadmill. Found out later that two black women were all that was present in the room. With the amount of increased racism in America, makes one wonder if they elbowed each other with a smirk or how long they watched him before they took action. One walk through the local VA will allow a person to see enough incompetence coupled with racism to scare the biggest badass out of the system. HMMM, might the their mission. I pretty sure their fantasies are to have the same budget with less patients.

  11. Guess we now know where, and who, the VA will be testing exposures resulting from chemicals produced by burn pits at and on.

    Didn’t Germany have a bunch of chambers setup for that kind of testing back in the late 1930s and early 1940s? but they called them showers back then.

    Also didn’t the Army here in the U.S. and in Europe have the same type of chambers set up used for Human subject research to test Chemical weapons in the 1940s through the 1980s?

    Come to think of it didn’t a lot of us go through the very same type of chambers during Boot Camp as part of training?

  12. I don’t know about other Veteran’s but I don’t want anything to do with Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment’s. One of my problem’s with my PTSD is closed off place’s. I want VA to study MARIJUANA. “oldcoastie”

  13. The Apollo 1 capsule was a hyperbaric chamber.
    “On January 27, 1967, the crew of Apollo 1 was killed during a routine pre-launch test. A wire arced in the spacecraft, and that spark turned into a raging fire in the pressurized pure oxygen environment.”

  14. Another “one shoe fits all” scheme. I’m presently attending a CTP PTSD group. No real discussion. Seems to be a method of cutting those who are drawing or applying for PTSD compensation from compensation.

    I’m not being compensated nor am I applying for current compensation. While PTSD is still an element in my life it is not greater than those who recover from losing a home in a hurricane. Of course not all who lose homes in a hrricane or tornado are able to quickly recover to productivity sufficient to earn an income. But local help and public and private committed resources help many recover more quickly than the vet that just came back from a horrific experience overseas. Rebuilding his house and helping recover possessions won’t help because he didn’t lose a house. There is no replacement for what the veteran lost.

    Don’t expect much from PTSD treatments of any kind. There will still be homeless drop outs because no approach currently given to the veteran offers long term relief. All we really have is time and talking with other veterans about their experiences to help us grasp the reality of what we can change and what we cannot change. What we are allowing to block our activity and whether it is reality based or base upon our own preconcieved moral base and how valid it is.

    We started with 12 in the group the first meeting. The second meeting had 5 returnees with 2 new additions. 7 Men left because the group leaders wouldn’t allow their input or show their concern. It was a non-participitory group. Hand out questionaires that help some but a shotgun blast that doesn’t help all.

    At least there was outreach to me because of my “depression assessment” for an individual therapy. But I was already seing a therapist on the Choice program because the VA in Cheyenne 80 miles away with a mobile truck 15 blocks away didn’t bother to check if the Scottsbluff Clinic 30 miles away had available resources for individual therapy.

    And so goes the failure of the VA nearby jurisdictions failure to communicate with each other.

    • I never expect much from “treatment” although that for me means strictly talk therapy. I don’t do pills anymore I don’t do other “alternative” therapies like yoga despite being eagerly assured that it will help me in a huge way.

      I’m a loner. I have bad experiences with other people so I stay away from other people. To me I will always be this way there is no cure for PTSD a person can either move on or not. Some of us, hell most of us, I suspect do not. I myself have been this way for nearly 2 decades now. I’ve tried a thing or two in my time. I suspect that if something was going to work I would have found it by now. What works for me is isolation and medication, in this case cannabis.

      I am not socially competent in the least and when the slightest thing goes wrong I go from zero to hero in a nano second. I shouldn’t be driving. My happy thought is slamming the asshole in front of me who won’t get out of my way into a fucking guard rail. Or murdering the dickhead who knocks on my door to try and sell me some fucking siding for my house.

      I’ve done therapy off and on for quite a while now and I still have these thoughts and urges. I suspect they’ll be with me until I go in the ground. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I don’t believe for a second that there is any type of long term relief to be had for PTSD unless we use time therapy, which we all use anyways, whether we want to or not. We either learn to cope, whatever that may mean to a person, or not. To me that means staying “locked down” as often as I can.

      I don’t think I’d be able to really let my guard down enough to actually talk to a VA shrink. Quite simply they are the enemy. When i feel the urge to talk to somebody I find a therapist that takes my Medicare. Most are happy to do so. When I feel talked out or like I need a break from dealing with my non resolvable issues I stop going.

      I operate under the mantra of the old adage You break it you buy it.

      The Federal Government broke me.

      The Federal Government can buy me.

  15. 12/19/2017

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    What responses!

    “Advanced therapies such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT, is a type of treatment used to speed up healing. This high-pressure dose of oxygen promotes wound healing by helping your blood carry more oxygen to your organs and connective tissues.”

    “• Chronic osteomyelitis bone infection
    • Diabetic foot ulcers
    • Failing skin and muscle grafts
    • Gangrene, gas gangrene
    • Immunosuppressive disorder wounds
    • Lower leg venous ulcers
    • Necrotizing fasciitis
    • Osteoradionecrosis
    • Post-operative infections
    • Radiation burns
    • Skin tears and lacerations
    • Slow- or non-healing surgical wounds

    Abrazo has 5 locations in Phoenix already, (602) 223-1048 find out if they talk a straight line.

    Stick with the facts and no speculations—make the call.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  16. I think VA therapist have been told to not record negative symptoms. I’ve been hearing stories lately that a lot of vets aren’t getting negative symptoms recorded in their treatment notes.

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