By David Freels

Just published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine is "Side effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in children with cerebral palsy." [Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 2006; 33(4); 237-244]

The very first sentence begins with a lie, which, to me, is an indication of the level of truth contained in the rest of the article:

"This article reports the side effects observed in a double-blind, placebo-controlled multi-center randomized clinical trial carried out to assess the efficacy and safety of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy in children with cerebral palsy."

The Collet study had no placebo. The Lancet refused to publish the article until Collet removed all references to placebo. The publication of this article by the most well-known (and thus presumed
prestigious), most recognized professional association in hyperbaric medicine now means that people ignorant of the gas laws of physics can now claim improvements in Collet's 1.3 ATA group were due to a placebo effect.

I can hear it now, "See even the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society says it was a placebo effect."

This is an outrage.

I am glad I do not have to stand before God at my death to answer for all eternity this crime against the most helpless members of humanity.

This article goes on to extrapolate into 8 pages a brief notation in the original Collet article that the 1.75 ATA group had a higher incidence of barotrauma.

The reason for this is simple. If the 1.3 group is to feel a pressure effect, they must reach pressure within a rapid period of time. If the 1.3 group and the 1.75 group are to be blinded, they must also
both reach pressure in the same period of time--which means the 1.75 group is pressurized at a faster rate than is the 1.3 group--thus the greater incidence of barotrauma in the 1.75 group.

Also, since the 1.75 had twice as much barotrauma as the 1.3 group, this also means there was no blinding of either group.

Which means the Collet study was not a double-blind, placebo-controlled study but just a study of different dosages: 1.3 air vs 1.75 100% oxygen.

Of course, all of this was explained in the 1999 UHMS Ethics Task Force report and conveniently deleted from the November, 2001 published article: Ethical dilemmas in Hyperbaric Medicine.

This newest article is further evidence of UHMS determination to stop brain-injured children from accessing off-label HBOT--which means there's never going to be a positive double-blind study on the use of HBOT for cp kids.

If the standard of care for our children is ever going to change, it is up to us as parents to force the change, and my guess is the MedicaidforHBOT parents are on the front line of that change.

Let's roll.

David Freels
2948 Windfield Circle
Tucker, GA 30084-6714
770-491-6776 (phone)
404-725-4520 (cell)
815-366-7962 (fax)