Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
If you read up on hyperbaric oxygen therapy you will find that it has been useful in some types of treatment. I am writing this to encourage its use in injury and disability treatment where appropriate. We have all sorts of therapies in workers comp. Often these therapies are temporary in nature. However in my opinion I think hyperbaric treatment has the potential in some cases to actually improve the situation. I have seen videos of its use in brain injury, with wounds and burns, with improving athletes and in a host of disabilities from autism to cerebal palsy and much more. The treatment of the injured and disabled should not simply proceed along current approved standards. The trouble with standards is that they can inhibit or stall progress. Medicine is a science that should be forward looking. It should not be limited by laws and rules that sometimes restrict progress. Colorado has treatment guidelines. Sometimes these guidelines are useful but sometimes they seem too rigid. The problem is that medical providers seem to believe they are held to these guidelines yet medical science blows right by them as it progresses forward. Insurers need to realize that if the goal is improve the claimant that hyperbaric (HBOT) can be a win win situation. I am arguing for its increased use in workers comp and even with those totally disabled who may be made more functional with hyperbaric treatments. By the way think of hyperbaric treatment as the use of a decompression like chamber to assist with oxygen absorption into the muscles, tissues and organs of the body to promote healing. It is actually quite simple to do. You enter a small chamber where you spend about an hour a session getting the treatment. Sounds a bit strange until you research it and find out that it is associated with improvement after numerous treatments. Think of it as another form of physical therapy. If you truly research it you may be surprise at how many areas it may be able to improve functionality. A lawyers job is made easier if the doctors and insurers look at the goal of recovery at a reasonable cost. The legal area will only litigate this which causes more expense that could go towards giving hyperbaric a trial run in cases where a doctor suggests it is worth a trial. I must say that many times a client tells me that all they really want is to receive reasonable medical treatment. Many times they tell me that but for the denial of treatment or poor treatment they'd never even use an attorney. The point is that we need encourage whatever works to improve the injured and disabled. HBOT is one more tool to use to improve and increase the chance for recovery in certain types of areas. I would certainly go to bat to obtain approval for its use in workers' compensation.