Doctors recently reported the reversal of brain volume loss in an unresponsive two-year-old cold water drowning victim who had experienced cardiac arrest. After treating the child with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and normobaric oxygen (oxygen at sea level), she experienced marked improvement and reversal of many symptoms.
After resuscitation, an MRI showed that the child experienced cerebral atrophy with white and gray matter loss and deep gray matter injury. At the time she was discharged from the hospital, she was unable to speak, unresponsive to commands, and she exhibited constant head shaking and squirming.
To prevent permanent degeneration of tissue, Dr. Paul Harch, Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU's School of Medicine, began partial treatment. Fifty-five days post-drowning, the patient began daily short-duration treatment under Dr. Harch's care with 100% normobaric oxygen.
With treatment, the child became more awake and alert and even stopped squirming. She experienced ongoing neurological improvement throughout her treatment period, characterized by laughing, eye tracking, increased movement of arms, grasp with the left hand, movement of hands, partial oral feeding, and short-sequenced speech at pre-drowning levels, albeit with diminished vocabulary.