HeathcareIn the Loire, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is available for...

In the Loire, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is available for disabled children

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“My son Janis has multiple disabilities. When he was born, the doctors told me that he would not talk or walk and that his chances of survival were practically zero. With his ventriculoperitoneal shunt, I’m sure he wouldn’t be here without hyperbaric therapy! Marina Saadani has never come to terms with her son’s disability. In addition to medication and hyperstimulation, she used alternative therapies, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a chamber that allows you to increase atmospheric pressure and inhale pure oxygen.

“With this alternative therapy at 1.3 or 1.4 bar, it’s like diving to a depth of 3 meters in ambient air without endangering the patient. The hypothesis is that dormant cells around the lesion are revitalized by pressure and changes in circulating oxygen. This allows the restoration of motor and cognitive functions, which depends on each case, but is likely to have a positive effect regardless of disability. It is an adjuvant therapy with no side effects. In principle, what is acquired remains acquired,” explains Guy Letelier, pediatrician and hyperbaric rehabilitation physician.

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Now Janis is 6 years old, he goes to kindergarten in the morning: “He talks and walks when he must have been in a vegetative state! ”, rejoices her mother, who accompanies her in the afternoon to La Fabrique à rêve, a reception facility for disabled children, which she was able to open on October 3 in Olive (Loire) with the support of the Loire department and Valloire Habitat, through its association Des rêves pour Yanis, founded in 2018. A place of reception and rehabilitation with a motor skills room, numerous stimulation equipment and therefore a high pressure chamber. On site, the families are under the supervision of Vanessa Zuzzi, a specialist in hyperbaric oxygen therapy and therapeutic neurofeedback.

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“I called all the French hospitals, but the case of Janis was not included in the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the use of the box,” says Marina Saadani. Indeed, in hospitals, these so-called hyperbaric chambers are used for very specific medical purposes, with higher pressure than in a hyperbaric chamber. Thus, Janis began hyperbaric therapy at the age of 5 months, “first in England, and then for four and a half years in private practice in Marseille, with all the logistical difficulties and costs that entailed,” explains Marina. Saadani.

“Research is not enough, but for families it is convincing”

The installation of this unprecedented hyperbaric chamber in the Loire is a chance, “because today there are hardly ten private practices in France equipped with a hyperbaric chamber,” says Vanessa Zuzzi. However, “From the perspective of families, these treatments are compelling, even if studies are lacking. Doctors are not trained and sometimes do not know that it exists,” explains pediatrician Guy Letelier.

“That’s right,” says the doctor. Many questions remain. That’s why I submitted a research project. This institutional research is very expensive and there is not yet enough reliable proven facts in the scientific literature, but if studies prove the effectiveness of this therapy, it will be a revolution! It is widely used in Canada, despite the controversy, and I want to demonstrate in France this rehabilitation potentiator without giving false hope to parents in desperation. »

To provide financial support to families, Marina Saadani worked together with the Departmental Council of the Loiret and the Departmental Home for People with Disabilities. “From now on, costs related to caring for a disabled person, in particular in the context of alternative treatments, are taken into account in the calculation of the supplementary educational allowance for children with disabilities (AEEH) up to 200 euros. expenses,” explains Christian Brauks, vice president of the department. An essential help for families, knowing that hyperbaric chamber sessions cost between 45 and 60 euros, depending on the package.

Source: Le Parisien

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