After the first session of HBOT, symptoms such as dyspnea and chest pain are reduced. After the second session, the symptoms are basically relieved, and the respiratory rate decreases gradually".
- Excerpt from a study led by Dr Zhong Yangling, Director of the Dept. of Hyperbaric Oxygen in Wuhan Yangtze River Shipping General Hospital, where he gave hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat hypoxemia in five COVID-19 patients (2 critical, 3 severe).
Highlights from his report:
HBOT can quickly help reverse hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels) and bring about rapid relief. Hypoxemia happens when the virus attacks the lungs, causing inflammation and depriving the body of oxygen.
There was an upward trend of oxygen levels, day by day.
CT scans showed improvements in all five patients’ lungs.
Note that this report points to the clinical potential of HBOT in treating hypoxia in COVID-19 patients, not the COVID-19 virus itself.
Since this study, Dr. Zhong had treated 35 COVID-19 cases. Given the shortage of ventilators, hospitals and infectious disease centres should consider using hyperbaric chambers to offer relief especially during critical stages. In Wuhan, Huoshenshan Hospital had commissioned and installed new hyperbaric oxygen chambers within 15 days.