Doctors reverse brain damage in two-year-old girl after drowning accident

Treatment reverses brain damage weeks after toddler nearly drowned

But doctors have managed to significantly reverse the trauma against all odds. She was in the water in the family pool at their home for 10 minutes. At the time of her release, according to WDSU, Eden didn't respond to commands, couldn't speak and constantly squirmed.

Eden was able to lift up her head, smile and even say momma. The doctors can not say for certain how exactly the oxygen treatments helped such a dramatic reversal of severe brain damage but said that the treatments helped to reduce swelling and encouraged brain cells to survive. The report was published in the July issue of the journal Medical Gas Research.

A year after a child's drowning rendered her unstable and unresponsive, doctors have essentially reversed the brain damage incurred from the accident thanks to hyperbaric and normobaric oxygen therapies.

The treatment, which happened in two stages, started 55 days later with short-duration treatments that administered 100% normobaric oxygen (oxygen at sea level) through a nasal tube for 45 minutes, twice a day. "We wanted her so much to recover and we started to look at different alternative methods that had been used to help people who had suffered from brain injuries".

Thirty-nine sessions in, the girl presented a speech level greater than pre-drowning, near normal motor function, normal cognition, improvement on almost all neurological exam abnormalities and assisted gait. This involved 40 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) conducted over eight weeks. They lasted 45 minutes each and were spread over five days a week. At the beginning of every session, the child's neurological improvement was visually apparent.




After 39 sessions, the hospital said that the girl was able to walk with assistance, could speak at a level greater than she was capable of prior to drowning, had normal cognitive function and close-to-normal motor function and showed improvement on almost all neurological abnormalities. Her thinking processes had improved and her motor skills were restored close to where they were before the accident.

"What was captured on video was the near immediate improvement in her condition".

MRI scans revealed significant brain injury. This method of oxygen therapy is also being tested for its merits in treating migraines, acute stroke, and chemical and thermal injuries.

"The startling regrowth of tissue in this case occurred because we were able to intervene early in a growing child, before long-term tissue degeneration", Harch said in a statement.

Patients who are not able to get hyperbaric oxygen therapy may still benefit from "normobaric" oxygen treatments for short durations of time in a repetitive manner until hyperbaric oxygen therapy is available for access in their local hospitals.

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