In the ongoing battle against COVID-19, a groundbreaking study in Buenos Aires, Argentina, explored the potential of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO2) to treat severe hypoxaemia in patients with the virus. This research aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of HBO2 while analyzing the time it took to correct hypoxaemia.
COVID-19’s severe clinical features often include hypoxaemia and systemic hypoxia. It’s a challenging issue because, in cases where oxygen saturation levels (SpO2) fall below 90%, patients face a higher risk of mortality. Traditional oxygen supplementation methods may not suffice, and this is where HBO2 comes into play.
The HBO2 Study
The study involved a group of 40 patients, divided into two equal groups. One group received HBO2 treatment alongside standard respiratory care for seven days, while the other received only standard treatment. HBO2 sessions occurred once daily, lasted 90 minutes each, and were administered at 1.45 atmospheres absolute (ATA).
The study yielded significant results: patients who received HBO2 treatment showed a notably shorter time to correct hypoxaemia compared to the control group. This underlines the potential efficacy of HBO2 in COVID-19 treatment.
Safety was paramount during the study. HBO2 treatment was carefully administered, with sessions held at 1.45 ATA, a lower pressure to minimize potential risks. The goal was to ensure that HBO2 therapy didn’t exacerbate lung injuries or induce pulmonary issues in COVID-19 patients.
While HBO2 treatment accelerated hypoxaemia correction, it didn’t have a significant impact on other critical factors such as the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome, the need for mechanical ventilation, or 30-day mortality rates.
Although this study represents a significant step in understanding HBO2’s potential in COVID-19 treatment, more research is needed. Nonetheless, it offers hope and the possibility of an additional tool in the fight against the virus.
At Hyperbaric Central, we remain committed to sharing the latest developments in hyperbaric medicine. As research progresses, we’ll continue to provide updates that can potentially contribute to better patient outcomes.
Cannellotto, M. (2021, December 2021). Hyperbaric oxygen as an adjuvant treatment for patients with COVID-19 severe hypoxaemia: a randomised controlled trial. Emergency Medicine Journal. https://emj.bmj.com/content/39/2/88