Will the White House Finally Bring HBOT to Wounded Vets?


veterans_1109A former ANH-USA board member joined with Michelle Obama to announce an exciting new program to help veterans with traumatic brain injuries. A new Action Alert!

Health pioneer Dr. Paul G. Harch, associate clinical professor of medicine at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, will participate in the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative. The program will teach medical schools better ways to train new doctors to care for veterans’ needs, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment (HBOT), the premier therapy for brain injuries and PTSD.

You may recall our article last month about Dr. Harch’s study which was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma—well, apparently someone listened after all. The White House is recognizing the importance of cutting-edge research like that being done in New Orleans. In her announcement, the First Lady discussed “the mental health challenges many of our troops face once they return home.” Dr. Harch joined Michelle Obama in making the announcement.

TBI and PTSD severely and disproportionally affect military who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan—approximately 546,000 have TBI, post-concussion syndrome (PCS), and PTSD, and yet their treatment options are limited. HBOT is an effective and economical treatment for PCS and PTSD, without the very dangerous and negative side effects of antipsychotic medication.

By participating in the initiative, LSU’s Health Services Center has promised to mobilize research and clinical care (including HBOT) to treat vets and their families. One important note, however: according to Dr. Harch, the Joining Forces Initiative has not officially committed to actually funding any of these research projects, only to sharing ideas and programs. He hopes the administration, having announced this initiative, will help fund the initiative since the medical schools and state budgets are cash-strapped.

In other good news, Dr. Harch has been awarded a $1.2 million government appropriation to further investigate HBOT for TBI and PTSD. This funding is greatly needed, since HBOT is currently FDA-approved for many uses, but not approved as a treatment for TBI or PTSD. This in turn blocks both use and payment.

With the White House spearheading this initiative, it could mean that the tide is turning, and FDA’s non-approval of HBOT for TBI or PTSD may be crumbling. Ditto DoD’s absurd refusal to use HBOT because it’s “off-label,” when the department already uses antipsychotic drugs completely off-label for treatment of TBI and PTSD. The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, so if he listens to his wife (not to mention scientific leaders and citizens like you) and orders it, the DoD will fall into line.

Please write to President Obama today, thank him for the First Lady’s initiative, and ask him to take a strong leadership role in making HBOT the primary therapy for TBI and PTSD. You might mention that he is supporting the troops in a way that will save untold numbers of them from lives of misery after serving their country, and ask him to make sure the Joining Forces Initiative is provided funding so HBOT can actually be administered to our veterans. Please take action today!

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We’d also love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by our ANH-USA readers and not Congress, the FDA, etc.

  • Terri Lynn Sullivan

    There is a much better idea than to drive our overall healthcare costs up this way….keep these young woman and men SAFE from this unwarranted harm to begin with. USA leaders have always ONLY taken our country into costly wars for spurious reasons, the profits going into corrupt domains not worth any of those girls and boys lives. Time for the American people to realize the origins of militarism and imperialism that are tearing the U.S. apart leading it toward mediocrity and bankruptcy. If we did not make the mistake to engage in this highly unreasonable aggressive foreign policy over past decade to begin with, we could be focused on efforts more beneficial to society. It is a sin and a huge shame these innocent girls and boys even have to have such health problems. The Holy Bible overflows with texts of terrorism far worse even than the Islamic Koran, part of problem with American’s believing our wars are justified, and that we are a land of God. Why are we so anti-American, going against our founding fathers warnings and the principles of God, including you shall not kill? Shameful and sinful, and we should have no respect to any parent letting a daughter and no less horrendous son even consider making this “choice” in life.

  • The government talks of supporting the troops, but always forgets!

    HBOT and thorough detox programs are the least we can do for men that sacrificed their lives for the war business. Depleted uranium and other battlefield toxins, drugs, vaccinations and lousy food ruined their mental and physical health. God bless em, they think they fought for a noble cause.

    HBOT should be one element of a thorough health restoration protocol such as the 11 Steps in Forbidden Healing.

    Always free info for vets at forbiddenhealingforum.com. Contact author for file/protocol.

  • Arlene

    I’m sorry if I do use some capital letters to emphasize what I am saying. But I feel very strongly about the problems Vets suffer because of these various health issues.

    I wish that they would have recognized PTSD and other related health problems years ago. My husband has suffered for years in silence. He is a VietNam Vet that was In-Country a couple times. Because of this In-Country service he has suffered nightmares, flashbacks etc since the late 60’s. I tried to get him to see a doctor multiple times while he was still in the Navy. But he is one of those Vets that believed in staying silent. I finally convinced him in 2007 to see someone about his PTSD. But because he has learned to COPE the VA pretty much told him to quit complaining and be a man. He is a very couragous man who has suffered in silence for years. I am about the only person who really knows what he has gone through to get to where he is today.

    I hope that they CAN find a better alternative to drugs for these Vets that are suffering with these many issues. I know that I have seen some of these Vets and the drugs don’t really work as well as the doctors like to think. What is really needed is a way for them to TALK OUT their problems and a non-drug intervention that will help them on their way to recovery. Yes! It will take a long time for any recovery to work. But it can happen. My husband is proof that you can live to tell about it.

  • Mark Austin

    As a former Viet Nam era vet I welcome the efforts of ANH to spearhead this problem, As a former US soldier I would appreciate it if you would remove the PC picture of foreign soldiers and replace it with American Troops, this would both honor them and add credibility to your efforts.

    • Pic updated. The US type camouflage, weapons and body armor in the original picture led to our mistake.