Hoosier Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injuries Or PTSD May Find Relief With Oxygen Therapy

The Indiana Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs recently passed Senate
Bill 454, authored by State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel). The bill is aimed
to help Indiana veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It would charge the Indiana
Lottery Commission to create a scratch-off game that would fund a pilot
program, providing free hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to Hoosiers veterans.
HBOT therapy enhances the body’s natural healing process through
inhalation of 100 percent oxygen. Mayo Clinic says, “In a hyperbaric
oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher
than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, lungs can gather more
oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

Blood carries this oxygen throughout the body. This helps fight bacteria
and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem
cells, which promote healing.” The HBOT service is traditionally
not available for traumatic brain injuries and not covered by most insurance plans.

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center reports that within the VA,
TBI has become a major focus, only behind the need for increased resources
to provide health care and vocational retraining for individuals with
a diagnosis of TBI transitioning to veteran status. The DVBIC reports
that veterans may sustain TBIs throughout their lifespan, with the largest
increase for veterans in their 70s and 80s. Active duty and reserve service
members are at increased risk for sustaining a TBI compared to their civilian
peers due to specific demographics of the military. Young men between
the ages of 18 to 24 are at greatest risk for TBI later in life when they
are in veteran status.

BRAIN INJURY STATISTICS

  • The
    CDC estimates that nearly 1.7 million people suffer some type of traumatic brain injury
    each year.
  • TBIs are a factor in over 30 percent of all injury-related deaths.
  • Nearly 75 percent of all TBIs happen in the form of a concussion or other
    type of mild brain injury.
  • Males are more likely to suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury than females.

COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TBI:

Physical

  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Visual disturbances
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Ringing in the ears

Cognitive

  • Concentration problems
  • Temporary gaps in memory
  • Attention problems
  • Slowed thinking
  • Difficulty finding words

Emotional

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

If it continues to move forward after a review by the Senate Committee
on Tax and Fiscal Policy, the bill would require the Indiana State Department
of Health (ISDH) to establish a program registry and waiting list for
treatment. The ISDH would also be responsible for maintaining the pilot program.

The Wagner Reese lawyers have assisted hundreds of clients in receiving
the compensation they deserve as a result of the head and brain injuries
they suffered. In addition to the extreme physical toll brain injuries
can take, clients often suffer from emotional trauma, inability to work,
memory loss, excessive medical bills, and other factors that make life
after a head or brain injury increasingly difficult. The personal injury
lawyers of Wagner Reese are well known among insurance companies, opposing
defense lawyers and judges for the representation offered to their clients,
and the success they have been bringing into the courtroom with them since 1997.