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Informed Consent: When is Silence About a Brain Wound More than an Ethical Lapse?
TreatNOW Coalition --  Concussion Protocol Experts TreatNOW Coalition -- Concussion Protocol Experts
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Arlington, VA
Friday, April 21, 2023


**4th in a five-part series on the Implications of HBOT when used to heal brain wounds, prevent suicides, restore lives, and save Billions of dollars

It should be well known by doctors, but not too often by patients, that the doctor-patient relationship is governed by trust, but also by obligations by medical professionals. Among those obligations are the ethical, legal and medical requirement that the doctor inform patients about treatments. This is covered by the doctrine called informed consent.

The Code of Medical Ethics is built around ensuring that both doctors and patients participate meaningfully in decisions about health care. Physicians have a responsibility to provide information and help patients understand their medical condition and options for treatment. This doctrine of informed consent seeks to ensure that doctors: tell patients of their diagnosis; that patients understand the nature and purpose of recommended interventions; and, most importantly, that patients are made aware of the burdens, risks and expected benefits of all options. [Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 2.1.1]

Of course, doctors cannot be expected to know all there is to know even inside their specialty, much less outside their field of expertise. Nevertheless, in the cases of TBI/Concussion/PTSD/ PCS/Brain Wounds, doctors and mental health professionals in general should be expected to know, talk about, and inform patients about options that, while generally deemed experimental, are widely available, safe, effective and potentially helpful. Such is the case with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and alternative therapies for brain wounds. It is equally important for FDA-approved treatments.

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury. It is a wound to the brain. Blast injury, head impacts, stroke and brain insults of many kinds, result in damage that is less widely known but still degenerative. Medicine understands the nature of wounds and the phases in wound healing. The so-called “concussion cascade” that follows the wound to the brain creates conditions that impede healing in the closed environment inside the skull. A blast or jolt to the head begins a series of negative consequences. These can include: inflammation; interrupted blood flow; oxygen starvation/hypoxia; tissue and nerve fiber ripping and tearing; cell stunning/ inactivation; and/or cell death.

The symptoms of that brain wounding include: headaches, confusion, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, sleeplessness, emotional instability. These symptoms and many more are linked to complex negative processes affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces. These forces can lead to sometimes fatal brain inflammation and swelling, damage to blood vessels and brain cells, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), visual and balance problems, and a myriad of other overt and/or subtle physical, emotional, cognitive, and functional difficulties.

Given the seriousness of brain wounding, the seeming passivity on the part of medicine and care providers with respect to the treatment of the wound to the brain is deeply troubling. “Concussion Protocols” are uniformly about diagnosis and management of a concussion; symptom reduction techniques absorb the vast amount of time, money and energy. Yet the treatment of the wound is seldom mentioned; worse, there are few medical professionals who will even discuss active intervention to treat and heal the wound to the brain.

An instructive document is the Sports-Related Concussion Research document that attempts to bring to bear a broad range of multidisciplinary challenges to the processes and products of sport-related concussion movement.

A prior document from the 6th Conference states: “It is important to note that the effects of targeted post-concussion treatments on the underlying pathophysiology of concussion are unknown. To date, there are no empirical data to inform the timing, intensity or type of treatment for patients with concussion. Additional empirical research on the efficacy of various treatments for concussion is warranted. Until then, the guidelines for targeted treatment can serve as an evolving framework for managing athletes.” Note that this document has no mention of the brain wound, nor is the word oxygen even mentioned. Any number of “treatments” are mentioned, but no mention of hyperbaric oxygenation which is an empirically proven, fact and data-backed method of treatment. Similar silence about wound healing is the norm across DOD/VA/Army medicine, professional sports, colleges, high schools, and medicine in general.

In fact, there is enormous evidence and empirical research over many decades that speak to the benefits and mechanisms of action using hyperbaric oxygenation to treat and help heal the wound to the brain [see HBOT Research and Science].

In accordance with the doctrine of informed consent, doctors, medical professionals, trainers, health care providers, even insurers should be made aware, if they are not already, that there is a proven safe, effective and economical treatment which, administered for brain wounding can lead to a resolution of symptoms and brain healing within days.

This document contains the essential information that any parent, care-giver, veteran, athlete or citizen can provide to the medical team seeking to deal with TBI/Concussion/PTSD/PCS/Brain Insults. Brain wounded patients, and those who care about them, deserve to know. Patient autonomy and self-reliance are the route to getting help that is available. Getting that help depends on patients educating doctors who, for a variety of reasons, may not be sufficiently well-informed about the HBOT treatment option.

Heal Brains. Stop Suicides. Restore Lives. TreatNOW.

The information provided by TreatNOW.org does not constitute a medical recommendation. It is intended for informational purposes only, and no claims, either real or implied, are being made.

Key Words:  Special Operators, veterans, suicide, athletesbrain healthblast injurybrain injurybrain woundChronic Traumatic Encephalopathyconcussionconcussion protocolConcussion SymptomsCTEHBOTHyperbaric Oxygen therapyTBITBItreatmenttraumatic brain injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Robert L. Beckman. PhD
Group: TreatNOW Coalition
Dateline: Arlington, VA United States
Direct Phone: 703-346-8432
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