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OGH using hyperbaric 02 therapy with success on COVID-19 patients

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Posted at 3:29 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 16:29:24-04

Opelousas General has been using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat patients with COVID-19 with some success.

Last week, Dr. Kerry Thibodeaux, Board Certified in General Surgery and Wound Care and Dr. Amer Raza, Board Certified in Pulmonology and Critical Care, combined research knowledge concerning the effectiveness of using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to treat patients with COVID-19.

Simply stated, hyperbaric treatments could be an effective way to treat COVID-19 patients suffering from severe respiratory distress.

Dr. Thibodeaux and The Wound Treatment Center team developed the protocol for inclusion and treatment.

"When weighing the risks to the patient and the potential for intubation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was determined to be a far better option for those meeting criteria,” said Dr. Kerry Thibodeaux, Medical Director of The Wound Treatment Center at Opelousas General.

As of today, four patients have met the criteria and begun therapy. Typically a patient undergoes hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments once a day for a period of 90 minutes. All patients that have participate in this therapy have responded well and have expressed they are feeling much better, a release from the hospital states.

“By networking with physicians and colleagues across the United States, we found that this was an alternative treatment being considered to keep from intubating patients. We have seen some symptomatic improvement in our patients and we also hope to prevent intubations in that subset of patients meeting criteria for this therapy,” said Dr. Amer Raza, Pulmonary Critical Care Physician.

It is entirely too early to broadly state HBOT is the best therapy for all patients with COVID-19, the release states.

"Our physicians and staff are consistently searching for evidence-based treatment options for their patients. The quick implementation to use hyperbarics is a testament to just how progressive they are," said Dr. Kenneth Cochran, President and CEO of Opelousas General.

The hospital plans to report an update on this therapy in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, everyone at the hospital asks residents to please stay home and practice social distancing at all times.