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How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helped Football Great Joe Namath

Posts Tagged ‘HBOT’

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helped Football Great Joe Namath

Posted on: August 7th, 2021 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

As an NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, Joe Namath had it all. His exceptional performance on the field and natural charisma turned him into a pop culture icon known as “Broadway Joe.”

But Joe didn’t emerge from his football career unscathed. He suffered at least five concussions—the “lights out, smelling salts” kind, Joe said on the June 24, 2019, Howard Stern radio show.

He didn’t really think much about it until the 2000s at his football camp when he saw how gridiron head injuries were affecting one of his former teammates. “I saw a teammate of mine deteriorating over a period of four years,” Joe says. “His mind, he was losing it, he’d forget things. It scared him.”

At the football camp the following year, the teammate was even worse. It was a wake-up call for Joe. “It dawned on me, I said I need to find out about myself. It behooves me, Joe, to find out about myself. And it behooves me to do it for my children.”

What a Brain Scan Revealed About Joe Namath’s Brain
Joe reached out to a hospital in Florida where he lives and underwent a brain imaging test called SPECT, which measures blood flow and brain activity. SPECT shows three things—areas of the brain with healthy activity, too much activity, or not enough activity. SPECT differs from MRI or CT scans, which show structural damage to the brain but do not reveal how the brain is functioning. In fact, in many people who have suffered a head injury, MRI and CT scans will appear normal even when there is functional damage to the brain. Because SPECT looks at brain function, it is the best tool to detect functional damage.

Joe Namath’s SPECT scan revealed that all those concussions on the field had taken a toll on his brain. The brain scan showed evidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), with low activity in some areas. “With that SPECT scan, they could see the cells on the left side of my head from the forehead back were not getting blood. They were darker than the rest of the other cells,” Joe says.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helped Joe Namath’s Brain
As part of a treatment plan to rehabilitate his brain, Joe began doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT is a non-invasive treatment that involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. With HBOT, your lungs can take in up to 3 times more oxygen than they do when breathing at normal air pressure. The increased oxygen is picked up via the bloodstream and transported to damaged tissues to facilitate the healing process. HBOT has been used to improve many issues, including TBI, PTSD, memory loss, anxiety and depression, attention problems, and other mental health issues.

After 40 sessions, Joe went back for a follow-up SPECT scan, which showed the dark areas of his brain with low blood flow had started to lighten up, a sign of improved blood flow. He continued with 40 more sessions and then a final 40 sessions. His follow-up brain scan after all 120 HBOT sessions stunned him. His brain “looked normal all over,” he says.

Since then, Joe has made it his mission to spread the word about the benefits of SPECT brain imaging and hyperbaric oxygen therapy through the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. “This could help millions,” he says, such as “the veterans alone that get concussions, the children that fall off bicycles and hit their head.”

Although Joe Namath was not treated at Amen Clinics, we have used brain SPECT imaging and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help treat numerous former NFL players and thousands of other people with TBI. In fact, 40 percent of our patients have had TBIs, including mild ones where you don’t pass out. Many of our patients who have undergone HBOT have experienced a dramatic improvement in cerebral blood flow. Benefits they have reported include improved memory, moods, cognition, and sleep, as well as reduced depression, irritability, and headaches.

If you would like more information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, contact Dr. Bruce Ruben at Encompass Healthcare in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – Healing for Burns!

Posted on: June 4th, 2020 by Encompass Healthcare

In order to understand the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to heal burns, it is first important to understand the four burn classifications.

Classification of Burns
A first-degree or superficial burn affects only the epidermis or outer layer of skin. The burn site is red, painful, and dry with no blistering. A mild sunburn is one example of a first-degree burn. Long-term tissue damage is rare and usually consists of a lightening or a darkening in
the skin color.

In a second-degree or partial-thickness burn, the epidermis and part of the dermis layer of skin are damaged. The burn site appears red, blistered, and may be swollen and painful.

With a third-degree or full-thickness burn, the epidermis and dermis are destroyed. Burns where there is also damage to the underlying tendon, muscle, and bone are considered to be fourth-degree burns. The burn site appears white or charred and no sensation is felt in the area because the nerve endings have been destroyed and worse, the blood vessels carrying needed oxygen have also been destroyed.

hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-chamber-west bloomfield-michigan

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Treating Burns
Therapeutic use of HBOT in burns is most often utilized for second and third degree burn cases. In third degree burns, the initial thermal injury occurs followed by circumferential, widening tissue loss. This means that the surrounding tissue of the burn also becomes damaged because the blood vessels have been destroyed as a consequence of the burn. When the blood vessels are destroyed, downstream blood flow from the burn site is arrested, propagating further tissue death due to a lack of oxygen.

When tissue death occurs, the body does not recognize that tissue as its own and perceives that it is a potentially harmful invader. This jeopardized tissue becomes a target for its own immune system and “attacks” the dying and surrounding tissues, resulting in more tissue death. This process is called ischemia reperfusion injury.

HBOT given within the first 48 to 72 hours following thermal injury increases the oxygen saturation to the body by up to 12 times that of breathing air at sea level. This can mitigate ischemia reperfusion injury and the possibility of advanced tissue destruction beyond the initial area of thermal injury by supplying the body with added oxygen that, in turn, can bring the damaged area “back to life.” This signals the body that the tissue is no longer a foreign invader and consequently, normal wound-healing processes are able to take place.

Beyond 72 hours, HBOT helps by continuing to promote new tissue growth, which encourages healing by aiding in the manufacturing of new blood vessels, which, in turn, make fibroblasts that are responsible for collagen production. In addition, HBOT reduces the body’s inflammation which otherwise would slow down the healing process. Finally, HBOT also offers infection control, as oxygen is the white blood cell’s weapon to kill bacteria.

In short, serious thermal burns patients are great candidates for hyperbaric oxygen therapy due to the mitigation of ischemia reperfusion injury, the promotion of new blood vessels and tissue growth, and the control of infection!

Patients who believe they may be candidates for HBOT should call our office. With a simple consultation from our physician, we can determine if HBOT is the right treatment for a patient. Appointments for our office can be made by phone or from our website. We’re here to help!

Dr. Bruce Ruben Detroit Jewish News Article

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

The Dr. Bruce Ruben Detroit Jewish News Article in July features Dr. Bruce Ruben of Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine, explaining Dr. Ruben’s unique outpatient wound care model in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

In this Detroit Jewish News article, we get an inside look at the all-encompassing wound care provided by Dr. Bruce Ruben and his staff.

JN Cover Page   JN Page 2   JN Page 3

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IV Antibiotics Cure Infection

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

IV Antibiotics

At Encompass HealthCare, one of the ways in which we treat infection is with the use of IV antibiotics in our outpatient setting.  Patients no longer need to go to the hospital to get IV antibiotic therapy.  At Encompass HealthCare, we treat infections, fungi, and even use IV therapy to supplement nutrition when needed, all in our outpatient setting.

At Encompass HealthCare, we deliver a multitude of IV antibiotics for a variety of infections,  bacterial infections that can oftentimes delay wound healing.  In addition, we offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy to those patients who need additional help in healing wounds.  Our convenient, outpatient center allows our patients to get their IV infusions, antibiotics, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, wound debridement, and other infection healing modalities all here in our outpatient setting without enduring the hassles of hospitals.  Our patients get their treatment, go back to work, home, and resume their life all without staying in a hospital.

 

 

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