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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for COVID-19 Lung Disease Research Announcement

Mon Health Medical Center has received approval from its Institutional Review Board to begin a study on the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to treat patients with COVID-19 lung disease. Proposal can be found here.

Lung decompensation from COVID-19 disease has proven very difficult to manage, with the need for mechanical ventilation having a very high mortality rate. COVID-19 lung disease presents as a lack of oxygenation with significant inflammation leading to ARDS. It is hypothesized that in addition to treating hypoxia, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may lessen the detrimental inflammatory responses due to COVID-19 infection.

Mon Health Medical Center will study patients in the early stage of pulmonary decompensation from their COVID-19 lung disease. The goal is to identify the effects of HBOT to decrease the progression of disease, need for mechanical ventilation, and mortality. This is an area of ongoing research, with studies underway at NYU Langone and University of California San Diego in partnership with a University in Sweden.

A portable hyperbaric chamber will be used to reduce patient transport and risk of infectious spread to our fixed hyperbaric chambers. Using a study protocol closely aligned with the Cleveland Clinic, we will provide up to six hyperbaric oxygen treatments at 2 Atmospheres for 90 minutes each. Response to treatment will determine the need for follow-up treatments. We will identify an initial cohort of forty (40) initial patients to test the hypothesis.

Dr. Dino Delaportas, an Infectious Disease Specialist and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy provider will be the Principal Investigator for this study. Dr. Joseph Maroon, Clinical Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has agreed to serve as our Study Consultant. The study has received funding from Sechrist and also local and national donors.

The study is currently recruiting patients. Appropriate candidates include patients of all ages with a positive COVID 19 test or clear clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 with respiratory compromise defined by SpO2 <93% on room air. Unstable patients or patients with a contraindication to HBOT are excluded from this study.

A copy of the study protocol is available at https://www.monhealth.com/mh/hyperbaric-research-study. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the study please feel free to contact Dr. Gregory Nelcamp at 304-216-9074 or nelcampg@monhealthsys.org. Thank you.