We will always face the problem in a given patient, and with any condition, of not knowing how much benefit is possible from using more oxygen in treatment. This dilemma is far from being unique to the use of oxygen, it also applies to the use of drugs. The answer is simple—it needs professional medical assessment of the response of an individual in order to titrate treatment and monitor the actions of interventions and this is actually the practice of medicine. The reliance on one-size-fits-all protocols for hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and even more so for drug treatment, dictated by reimbursement policy, is unscientific, absurd, and must be resisted. The importance of individualising treatment is now being recognised by the pharmaceutical industry, which is now advocating the use of gene profiling, for example, in drugs used against breast cancer. It must also be remembered that if the monitoring of side effects in trials is not undertaken responsibly, adverse media publicity can result in the failure of drug; with investment in the billions, drug development has become a very risky business. The contrast with hyperbaric oxygen treatment, which simply extends the envelope of normal healing, could not be greater, and we all use oxygen in the same way. Properly used, the risk associated with hyperbaric oxygenation is not from the oxygen itself, it is from the minor changes in pressure on the ears. In fact, the risk to the patient is from not using it.
(Reference: James, P.B. Oxygen and the Brain: The Journey of Our Lifetime. North Palm Beach: Best Publishing Company; 2014.)
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