February 24, 2016 2:48 pm
Updated: February 25, 2016 12:57 am

Vancouver stroke study to use hyperbaric chamber

The Vancouver General Hospital is looking at whether a hyperbaric chamber could help stroke patients recover more quickly. Linda Aylesworth reports on a treatment method that is currently used to treat more than a dozen ailments.


VANCOUVER – Doctors at Vancouver General Hospital are recruiting stroke survivors to determine if increasing the amount of oxygen in the body improves conditions such as depression and cognitive skills.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority says the first such study in North America will involve patients lying in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for 40 treatments, each lasting about two hours.

Dr. David Harrison, the lead investigator and medical manager of the hyperbaric unit at VGH, says the study will also measure daily activities.

His team is seeking 140 patients, between the ages of 19 and 85, who have had a stroke involving the cerebral hemisphere during the past six to 36 months.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment involves breathing 100 per cent oxygen at increased pressures inside a cylindrical chamber, which allows oxygen to be dissolved into the bloodstream and carried to the organs.

Preliminary results of the study are expected in December 2018.

Those interested in joining the study may contact Janice Andrade at 604-875-4111 ext. 68469 or via email.


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