Informational Website
Barbie B & Friends

Assisting stroke victims and their families.

Hyperbaric O2 Chamber

HBOT Case Study & Roundtable

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatments are done in an air-tight chamber with 100 percent pure oxygen under pressure. This pressure is measured in atmospheres based on the type treatment that the patient is receiving.

This therapy evolved from scuba divers needing treatment for the “bends.” The bends, or decompression sickness, is widely known both inside diving culture and in general, yet what it actually means eludes most people. Also known as Caisson disease, it is a condition that does not occur in freediving, but can happen when a diver is using a breathing regulator. The symptoms can affect just about any body area, including joints, lung, heart, skin and brain.

Regardless, it was found that while many of these divers who were able to recover from the bends also had wounds that they noticed healed very quickly inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

From this, the medical world has adopted the use of HBOT for predominately wound care. Again, this accelerates the healing process for wounds. Therefore, many hospitals have a chamber to use for this reason. Normally, traditional health insurance will cover or reimburse for these type of treatments.

In addition to this, many medical professionals feel that neurological issues may be addressed and treated through hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In theory, use of HBOT chambers may create additional perfusion, plasticity and even stimulate stem cell growth. 

There are a number of Freestanding HBOT clinics around the world. The downside is that typically health insurance coverages do not cover this type of therapy for brain-related injuries (i.e. neurological in nature, stroke, TBI- traumatic brain injury, etc.) Nor is this considered a mainstream therapy.

Barb was fortunate to get involved with the clinical study at a clinic in Chicago. The following shows the results of the study and those that were involved in the roundtable discussions regarding the value of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as treatment for stroke.

BBF Chairs HBOT Roundtable at IU School of Medicine July 8, 2009

The BBF was involved in Clinical Case Study and Research Roundtable to collaborate on a plan to promote HBOT as a mainstream stroke therapy treatment. On July 8, 2009 we met with a group of highly-qualified doctors to discuss HBOT treatment. The purpose:

  • What is the future of HBOT? Why?
  • What would it take to develop a coordinated effort to move the process into the mainstream
  • Double blind Study, FDA & Legislative approvals, and Insurance Coverage for HBOT
  • Working toward a common goal
  • Combining Resources and a Coordination of efforts
  • Pilot Studies: US Military TBI Study, Barbie B, Types of Studies
  • Blue Print for Success
  • Research Cost, funding and next steps



Roundtable Members

August Martinucci, M.D. Barbie B Foundtion (Bruce Knutson) Buffy Nemeth
Dan Pavel, M.D. Edward McKee, PhD Harry T. Whelan, MD
Kenneth Olson, PhD Ronald Holt, M.D. Valerie Green
  William S. Maxfield, MD, FACNM  


Hyperbaric O2 Chamber

BBF Pilot Study Baselines

Barbie B - SPECT Report
Barbie B - SPECT Scans
Barbie B - SPECT Scans 2
Barbie B - Speech Baselines
Barbie B - Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination
Barbie B - Walking Baselines




Acupuncture is a non-traditional approach to rehab that has proven in some cases to be very effective. Barb followed the traditional therapy approach initially as directed by her physicians. Seven months after her stroke she started experimenting with acupuncture. The results were not dramatic but noticeable and quantifiable. She developed additional flexion with her right arm and grip. Dorsa flexion became more evident in her right foot. Further, the day after each acupuncture session it seemed as if her speech was better.

Others are very high on the results of acupuncture and have used this option much earlier in rehabilitation than Barb did. Some have experienced good results, others made no progress.