Treatment of Military Concussion in Israel

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by Carol Henricks, M.D.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy ( HBOT ) is the standard of care treatment for traumatic brain injury ( TBI ) / military blast injury in Israel. The citizens and the military in Israel have been exposed to blast after blast explosion throughout their history, and they recognize the nature and effects of that blast exposure. Their standard of care treatment is a combination of biological intervention (HBOT and nutrients) and interdisciplinary rehabilitation including cognitive therapy with individuals, groups, peer groups and computer labs. They conclude that the combination of therapies is the most cost and time effective way for bringing the patients back to their normal lives.

I have been corresponding with Dr. Shai Efrati who is the Director of The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research. His center treats 120 patients a day. Initial screening includes a Brain SPECT scan and Brain perfusion MRI with DTI as well as neurological and neurocognitive evaluation. Patients with concussion have a 3 month treatment protocol. Their treatment protocol includes 60 daily sessions of hyperbaric oxygen done 5 days a week. In fact American military veterans are traveling to Israel for treatment.

Daniel Rona who has fought with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) as well as the US military states that in Israel “In essence, our mental attitude is that we must take care of ourselves and through that process little Israel has become a blessing for the rest of the world…we treasure our soldiers, young and old. They are our only defenders….no one else will fight our battles. You can imagine that every concussive event will be treated with HBOT !” Chambers can operate around the clock, except on the Sabbath, as needed. Ofer Levy states that “the policy of the IDF is that life has the highest value and they are committed to use any treatment, in any case, to save a life”.

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