Open Access

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in overweight and obese patients with COVID‑19

  • Authors:
    • José Alfredo Gonzalez‑Ramirez
    • Julio C. Ramírez‑Nava
    • Sonia Gonzalez‑Lopez
    • Bettina Sommer
    • Héctor Solís‑Chagoyán
    • Luis M. Montaño
    • Bianca S. Romero‑Martínez
    • Edgar Flores‑Soto
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: October 12, 2021
  • Article Number: 61
  • Copyright: © Gonzalez‑Ramirez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Currently, the global healthcare system is facing a crisis caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19), with a significant number of patients requiring supportive care, particularly to fulfill their respiratory requirements. The current oxygen delivery systems may fail to meet the needs of certain patients or are associated with the appearance of sequelae following their use, such as in cases receiving invasive mechanical ventilation. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) poses an attractive alternative to the current oxygen delivery systems available for patients with COVID‑19. HBOT has been previously used in various types of infectious diseases, providing inflammatory relief and facilitating the reversal of hypoxemia, qualities that may also prove beneficial to patients with COVID‑19. At present, a significant proportion of the population worldwide is overweight or obese, and these comorbidities are considered to increase the severity of COVID‑19 symptoms. The present study aimed to investigate whether HBOT may benefit a representative sample of this aforementioned population (n=36 patients). After the first HBOT session, 7 patients were immediately relieved from shortness of breath, while in 22 patients, this symptom was markedly alleviated after 7.57±0.63 days of HBOT. Moreover, the remaining patients (n=7) had a slow breath recovery after performing activity, suggesting that they should continue HBOT. On the whole, the present study demonstrates that daily HBOT for 7.57±0.63 days improved COVID‑19 symptoms in over half of the enrolled patients, indicating that it may be a useful alternative in the treatment of this illness.
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