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  1. Sanchez, E. Cuauhtemoc MD


This article presents a pilot study to determine the value of hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO2) in the acute management of neonatal hypoxia (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) and necrotizing enterocolitis. Neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and NE were treated in a Sechrist monoplace chamber. Electroencephalogram, evoked potential, ophthalmic evaluation, ultrasonograph, laboratory exams, and radiographs were obtained before and after HBO2. Treatment protocol was 2.0 atm abs/45 minutes. Preventive myringotomies were conducted in all patients. A follow-up was done at 3 and 6 months. All patients (n = 8) were ventilator-dependent and required bag-valve-mask ventilation by a neonatologist during the treatment. All showed a resolution after HBO2. There was also a dramatic improvement (P < .05) in hemoglobin, hematocrit, total proteins, serum sodium, triglycerides, and pH. There were favorable changes in all other studies although they did not meet statistical significance. There was a marked reduction of the morbidity and mortality. There were no adverse effects on the ophthalmologic or Central Nervous System. When used promptly, HBO2 can modify the local and systemic inflammatory response caused by intestinal inflammation or cerebral or systemic hypoxia. It helps to preserve the marginal tissue and recover the ischemic and metabolic penumbra. This pilot study suggests that HBO2 could be a safe and effective treatment in the acute management of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. There is a need for a prospective, randomized, controlled, and double-blinded study to determine the real use of HBO2 in these cases.