The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for COVID-19: A Review

The recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic produced high and excessivedemands for hospitalizations and equipmentwith depletion of critical care resources. Theresults of these extreme therapeutic effortshave been sobering. Further, we are monthsaway from a robust vaccination effort, andcurrent therapies provide limited clinical relief.Therefore, several empirical oxygenation supportinitiatives have been initiated with intermittenthyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy toovercome the unrelenting and progressivehypoxemia during maximum ventilatorsupport in intubated patients, despite highFiO2. Overall, few patients have been successfullytreated in different locations across theglobe. More recently, less severe patients atthe edge of impending hypoxemia wereexposed to HBO preventing intubation andobtaining the rapid resolution of symptoms.The few case descriptions indicate largevariability in protocols and exposure frequency.This summary illustrates thebiological mechanisms of action of increasedO2 pressure, hoping to clarify more appropriateprotocols and more useful application ofHBO in COVID-19 treatment.

Categories: Medical clinic