Monday, November 4, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Spinal Injuries and Quadraplegia  

How life can change in a split second with velocity and impact.

Bravery, Courage and Sheer Determination needed.

Rapid response is required.

Often called"the BIG ONE, this common cervical injury usually means  that 
the patient will only be able to turn head, shrug shoulders, spontaneously breathe 
and talk. Paralysis usually sets in below the insulted area and a permanent  life change occurs.  

January, 2013
An email from a friend . . .
"My son broke his neck this afternoon Big Beach surfing. He told me in his words that he thought he was going to drown so he's lucky to not have. I'll meet with the neurosurgeon tomorrow but he's going to have to have surgery and hopefully the paralysis will come undone."

  • Bruising and swelling were now acting as a strangulation point for the cord below the insulted area and Ischemia (none or little amounts of oxygen are getting down past the fracture point).
  • Steroids were given in vast amounts to reduce bruising and swelling.

   The patient underwent surgery, three days after his accident. Another email, ten days later where the neurosurgeon said that they do not use scans (PET, SPECT, fMRI) to make a prognosis but the time between the accident and intervention. The prognosis - this 21 year old had "less than a 5% chance of ever walking again."

 Sandsie's Comment  January 2013.

   It has taken thirty years working with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (“HBOT”) to thread a string of beads about Coma Arousal, Spinal Injuries, Strokes,  and Near-Drowning.   Now in retirement in Hawaii, the last two beads fell into place within a 10 day period -- the month of January 2013. I should begin thirty years ago to my introduction to Australia's (and the World's) top specialist in spinal injuries,  Dr.  John Yeo.

   At that time, I was in the "R" period of Research and Development.In 1984 Sydney only had two hyperbaric chambers, one at School of Underwater Medicine (HMAS Penguin) and another at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ("RPAH"). Both were large chambers that could take many casualties at one time. The Prince Alfred Chamber was working with spinal injuries. The medicine and research from both centers was fascinating but not the chambers that I had in mind. 

By the time I met John Yeo M.D., I already had the transport envelope of the system worked out . . .  small enough to fit a U.H. Series Bell Chopper, light enough to retrieve a casualty on a 2,000 mile flight in a Beechcraft Queen Air "B." Now for the needs of the patients . . .

1983 C of A Department of Science  & Technology
commissioned Sands  to develop advanced HBOT
 transportable chamber.

In 1984 Sydney only had two hyperbaric chambers, one at School of Underwater Medicine (HMAS Penguin) and another at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ("RPAH"). Both were large chambers that could take many casualties at one time. The Prince Alfred Chamber was working with spinal injuries. The medicine and research from both centers was fascinating but not the chambers that I had in mind. Then I found out that Dr. John Yeo had a little British Vickers chamber at the Royal North Shore Hospital ("RNSH"). He readily agreed that I should come visit. While spending time with this gracious man, "Happenstance"threaded the first bead for me.  friendly man, so ready to share his knowledge with the World.


RNSH is  three miles from "the Bridge" on historic
Gore Hill  with stunning views of the City of Sydney.
RNSH  with  740 beds is one of Australia's (and the World's)
Premier Medical  Schools and Medical Research Centers.
While at RNSH with Dr. John, a young man, less than eight hours from a Rugby football accident, was carried in -- crushed C4 but with an intact spinal cord and in full quadriplegia  -- , strapped down to a litter. Dr. John and his team gently slid him into the little chamber and, 90 minutes later, hauled the casualty out. WOW! The young man could wriggle his toes.

Four 90 minutes sessions in the chamber at 2.5 ATA over a two day period, the "spinal shock" had evaporated. Two weeks later, the young radiologists was back at work on light duties.
    I was so excited . . . "are you going to tell the world about this?" I asked. Dr. Yeo replied, "probably not yet." 
In the next six months I understood his reluctance. 

   I mentioned the two other Sydney chambers. School of Underwater Medicine where I lectured visiting physicians on dynamic lung function. RPAH -- breaking the backs of sheep with spinal research by Dr. Ian Unsworth -- well, even as a business partner, (Mercator Pty. Ltd.) we did not get on well at all. I told Unsworth of Dr. John Yeo's miracle two day rehab' of the spinal patient. There was a pause and Unsworth muttered "there is a lot of luck in hyperbarics."

A month later I was in Honolulu. Professor Ed' Beckam, M.D., Robert Overlock (shortly after my visit, Bobby became an M.D.) Frank farm, legendary Hawaiian deep-diver and others. Dr. Ed was as gracious as Dr. Yeo back at  RNSH in wanting to share knowledge. 
   At the time, the Hawiian crew were working with short-hair Fox Hound (the dogs loved them) on spinal accidents. All were so excited about the rapid recovery of the Sydney footballer. This was the first time that I had heard the term "Golden Window" (time from trauma to treatment and success probability) from Dr. Ed'. At the time, a Los Alamos atomic physicist was also visiting -- Tom Kunkle, Ph.D. He agreed with the concept of rapid response with HBOT to reduce edema and bruising and the additional oxygen that would keep paralysis contained.

South Carolina, USA.
    Three weeks later I was at Duke University. Buoyed along by the open-minds of Dr. John Yeo and Dr. Ed Beckman and the spontaneous change in Sydney casualty, I was beaten back down to reality, when the Director of the Center, Peter Bennett Ph.D. made the same comment as Unsworth at RPAH in Australia . . . "there is a lot of luck in hyperbarics." Pete simply did not want to hear about it. 

In January of this year, a young man -- the son of a friend of  mine -- fractured his C4 while surfing near my home in Maui. I called Dr. John Yeo (who remembered me and the incident of thirty years earlier) told me "The problem is ischemia. The sooner that you treat a spinal patient in a chamber, the better his chances. After you left Australia, I did a small research paper with fifty-six patients of recovery. I had great Golden Window success with  five of them but the other fifty were not matched in age or duration. Consequently the local specialist derided the results and we abandoned the use of HBOT  with spinal injury."

1993 -- A gentle voice on the telephone to my home in California introduced himself as Richard Neubauer and asked "can you design a chamber for me that will treat stroke and other neuro' patients?"  "Yes," says I. Then I asked him "Does it work with these?"
   "Come see for yourself."  His work and discoveries made at his center were jaw-dropping. No wonder that even today Dr, Neubauer is known as the Father of Hyperbaric Medicine in the U.S.

More beads to thread "Uncle Dick" Neubauer, '"Gus" Miale and "Shelly" Gottleib -- all high-end health scientists and physicians. One of them (I forget which one) told me twenty years ago "Sandsie, because of PET and SPECT scans, we know know about the ischemic Penumbra. This is no longer 'anecdotal.' Life for stroke, spinal and head injured patients is about to change. " Sadly, it did not.

Clin Nucl Med. 1992 Jun;17(6):477-81.

Identification of hypometabolic areas in the brain using brain imaging and hyperbaric oxygen.


Ocean Hyperbaric Center, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida 33308.


Current neurologic assessments consider idling neurons and ischemic penumbras to be metabolically lethargic and electrically nonfunctional or nonviable. Diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutics of central nervous system dysfunctions require differentiation between viable and nonviable neurons. It is necessary to develop and document efficacious and safe techniques for reactivating idling neurons. The authors present a case study of a near drowning 12 years earlier. Areas of cortical hypometabolism were identified by using SPECT imaging in conjunction with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Delayed imaging after HBOT (1 hour, 1.5 atm abs) suggested viable but metabolically lethargic neurons. After HBOT (80 1-hour treatments, monoplace chamber, 1.5 atm abs), marked improvements in cognitive and motor functioning were demonstrated. The data support the hypothesis that idling neurons and ischemic penumbras, when given sufficient oxygen, are capable of reactivation. Thus, changes in tracer distribution after a single exposure to HBOT may be a good prognostic indicator of viable neurons. HBOT may be valuable not only in recovery from anoxic encephalopathy but also from other traumatic and nontraumatic dysfunctions of the central nervous system, including stroke. HBOT in conjunction with physical and rehabilitative therapy may help reactivated idling neurons to remain permanently active.

Neuroimaging in Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: An Evidence-based Review for Clinical Practice and Research

Report of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Spinal Cord Injury Measures Meeting 2007

Positron Emission Tomography (PET): Five Class IV articles on PET imaging in patients with SCI were reviewed. A single Class IV PET imaging article was found that assessed PET of the spinal cord in the assessment of patients with compressive myelopathy. This study utilized high resolution fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to evaluate the metabolic characteristics of the spinal cord in myelopathy patients and concluded that the standardized uptake values for FDG-PET in the cervical spinal cord correlated better than MRI with pre- and postoperative neurological scores in these nontraumatic subjects. Four Class IV articles were found describing PET assessment of the brain in persons with SCI. One of the articles utilized PET scanning to assess brain metabolism after sensory stimulation of the vagina and foot to elucidate the sensory pathways which convey genital stimulation to the brain in women with SCI  Two articles studied regional brain response to unilateral hand movement in persons with SCI determined by PET, showing changes in activation patterns compared to uninjured control subjects. One additional article assessing resting brain metabolism showed alterations in the distribution of PET glucose utilization in persons with SCI compared to uninjured control subjects (90). These studies suggest that PET may be used to assess the metabolism of spinal cord and brain in patients with SCI.

Richard Neubauer would groan and ask "Don't these young specialist physicians ever keep up with their reading?"

Sandsie's Comment. 

Since the little transportable recompression chamber system that I designed for the Australian Government and now in fleetwide use by the United State Navy was unsuitable for spinal patients, I designed a chamber that was/is perfect for spinal patients.

Thanks Dr. Neubauer, Dr. Yeo, Professor Beckman (M.D.) -- none of this would have happened without your input. In the last sixteen years, my centers have aroused numerous coma patients and treated many quad' and para' spinal patients.

 Sandsie's Comment. 
   During those three decades I had the privilege of owning my own HBOT centers, charging affordable prices, and being able to skirt the constraints of vested interest groups such as the Undersea and  Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS). Their  "approved" guidelines are in reality "approval for payment by the U.S. Government MEDICARE program (keeps the prices at around $2,000.00 per 90 minute session in a HBOT chamber). 
   The UHMS justification is that "there are no double-blinded studies for such trauma as a broken spine."  With objective scanning, there is no need.
   What a load of self-serving rubbish. Below is just one of the latest studies on brain damage less than ten days  after the accident. . . . and the same grey and white matter are included in a  spine. Mind you, at $2,000.00 per HBOT Tx. in an expensive hospital environment, and with the patient possibly needing 200 sessions, the costs of rehab' of a single spinal injury would "break the bank."
The solution is simple -- do not warehouse spinal casualties  or make them into statistics, condemning them to  reduced quality of life.Move the chambers out of hospitals and DROP THE PRICES per Tx. to less than $200.00 per session -- one tenth of hospital charges.   
In actual fact, such adjunct use of hyperbaric oxygen reduces the overall lifetime costs of the casualty -- usually carried by medical insurance or by State and Federal programs.

Yes, it is "disruptive medical technology" but the movement has commenced.

          Dr. Grady Anderson, Orthopedic Surgeon

Grady and I became friends in 2003. He was fond of saying "no back operation is successful if you can still feel pain a year later . . . there are often other ways of mending bones. An extremely smart man. I remember one time he said that to a group of orthopedic and neurosurgeeons at a conference in San Diego, and the moderator  spoke up in a loud voice "Thank you Dr. Anderson, we have heard enough."

Grady stopped speaking and climbed from behind the microphone.  I was enraged on his behalf. "No need to be Sandsie," Grady said."You have to understand that if you are a surgeon of any sort, if you don't cut,  you do not go to the bank."

Here's to you, Grady Anderson, M.D., Don Quixote of Orthopedics with the courage of tilting at the largest of windmills.

In an elegant study -- mostly from Israel Universities comes ths:

Hyperbaric Oxygen Induces Late Neuroplasticity in Post Stroke Patients - Randomized, Prospective Trial

Background: Recovery after stroke correlates with non-active (stunned) brain regions, which may persist for years. The current study aimed to evaluate whether increasing the level of dissolved oxygen by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) could activate neuroplasticity in patients with chronic neurologic deficiencies due to stroke.

Methods and Findings: A prospective, randomized, controlled trial including 74 patients (15 were excluded). All participants suffered a stroke 6–36 months prior to inclusion and had at least one motor dysfunction. After inclusion,patients were randomly assigned to "treated" or "cross" groups. Brain activity was assessed by SPECT imaging; neurologic functions were evaluated by NIHSS, ADL, and life quality. Patients in the treated group were evaluated twice: at baseline and after 40 HBOT sessions. Patients in the cross group were evaluated three times: at baseline, after a 2-month control period of no treatment, and after subsequent 2-months of 40 HBOT sessions. HBOT protocol: Two months of 40 sessions (5 days/week), 90 minutes each, 100% oxygen at 2 ATA. We found that the neurological functions and life quality of all patients in both groups were significantly improved following the HBOT sessions while no improvement was found during the control period of the patients in the cross group. Results of SPECT imaging were well correlated with clinical improvement. Elevated brain activity was detected mostly in regions of live cells (as confirmed by CT) with low activity (based on SPECT) – regions of noticeable discrepancy between anatomy and physiology.

Conclusions: In any case, the observed reactivation of neuronal activity in the stunned areas imply that increasing the plasma oxygen concentration with hyperbaric oxygenation is a potent means of delivering to the brain sufficient oxygen for tissue repair: HBOT might initiate a cellular and vascular repair mechanism and improve cerebral vascular flow 8,13,16,17]. At the cellular level, HBOT can improve mitochondrial function (in both neurons and glial cells) and cellular metabolism; improve BBB and inflammatory reactions; reduce apoptosis; alleviate oxidative stress; increase levels of neurotrophins and nitric oxide, and up-regulate axon guidance agents [13,16,17,20]. Moreover, the effects of HBOT on neurons can be mediated indirectly by glial cells, including asrocytes [18]. HBOT may also promote neurogenesis of the endogenous neural stem cells [19]. The major limitation of the above-mentioned data is that it has been tested in different types of models and includes different protocols of HBOT. However, it is well noticed that there is at least one common  enominator to all repair/regeneration mechanisms: they are all energy/oxygen dependent. It might be possible that HBOT enables the metabolic change simply by supplying the missing  energy/oxygen needed for those regeneration processes.

To conclude, in this study we provide, for the first time, convincing results demonstrating that HBOT can induce significant neurological improvement in post stroke patients. The neurological improvements in a chronic late stage demonstrate that neuroplasticity can be operative and activated by HBOT even long after acute brain insult. 
Thus, the findings have important implications that can be of general relevance and interest in neurobiology. Although this study focused on stroke patients, the findings bear the promise that HBOT may serve as a valuable therapeutic practice in other neurological disorders exhibiting discrepancy between the anatomical and functional evaluation of the brain.

When was this published? January 15, 2013  - about ten days ago from writing this blog. 
So the contemplation of the 1750  observation of spinal shock and loss of sensation and paralysis below the injury prognoses about many spinal injuries could possibly be changed if specialist physicians kept up with the latest science.  

 Sandsie's Comment:
"Mike Schwass was a friend of mine."
Mike was an historical figure and the first quadriplegic who showed that steely grit and determination could push past the spinal shock. It is worth spending a moment on his YouTube story "Don't Blame the Game," a full quad' at the age of sixteen.

R.I.P. Michael.  Your death was predicted at  22 but you made
it all the way to 51 -- and enriched so many lives. thanks Mate.

"Mike Schwass spent most of his life paralyzed but he never gave up on his dream – every day he envisioned himself walking, free from the confinement of his wheelchair and the aides constantly at his side.  At 16-years-old, Schwass became a quadriplegic after an opposing hockey player checked him into the boards during a game.
Schwass also traveled the country as a motivational speaker. He co-wrote the book “Don’t Blame the Game,” an autobiography of his life, his injury and courage to beat the odds. As a counselor, many of his clients were also quadriplegics – he didn’t charge them because he knew from personal experience how costly their bills were, family said.
Nearly everyone that met him walked away inspired. But as he grew older, his body became weaker, bills stacked up and things were harder for Schwass.
His family put together a fundraiser called “Mike-a-palooza” in August to raise money to buy a new van for Schwass and pay some of his medical expenses."

   Mike came to my San Diego Center for numerous HBOT sessions and told me "I wish that I had known about hyperbaric oxygen when I was sixteen."  My wish for him also. Notice that, even with insurance and damages, Mike eventually ran out of money and fund-raisers were needs. It was a privilege to treat this cheerful man and, when offered payment by him I always told him "Mike, you paid me by just coming through the door of the clinic."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What A GREAT START to the New Year

Meet "Blade Runner" and a chance to own a Porsche!

I'm sure many of you remember the inspirational performances of South African Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius this past summer in London 2012. He defied logic and belief in what challenged athletes can achieve when he competed with such grace, class and talent in the Olympic Games. His ability to overcome the odds is a lesson to us all. 
A true Modern Olympic Legend. We are pleased to announce that Oscar has agreed to come to the US and participate in two speaking engagements on behalf of UK International. We are hoping to attract people from all walks of life, not just sports, to these motivational speeches.

The NC event will be at the Civic Center in Statesville NC. Please spread the word on these events to anyone you think may be interested.  For additional info on tickets for this event, which include the opportunity to have a meet and greet or even a private dinner with Oscar, please contact Tony of UK International on 931.217.9172 or at

Oscar will draw the winning ticket for the Porsche raffle! See below to purchase a raffle ticket now!
You may purchase your tickets below and paying with PayPal™.

                          Toll-free to HQ 704.875.7189  
Tickets $25.00 each or 3 for $50.00

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy  get
better results than Antibiotics treating Lyme Disease?
Sandsie in London -- The 'Games delayed the post

 A Letter from London, and 

American Health Scientists Agree!
Sandsie's Comment:
    Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy ("HBO") is essentially an application of a "drug" of high density or pressurized 100% oxygen administered in a hard -hulled chamber at the appropriate pressure. The drug classification is only  in the United States and by the FDA which means that you must have a prescription from a Medical Doctor - M.D., or a Doctor of Osteopathy - D.O. Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.) or  Doctors of Chiropractics CANNOT lawfully write a prescription for HBO.
    In essence, any hospital-quality HBO center is a dispensary, not a "treatment center." Just as you local drug store dispenses M.D. Rx. HBOT  is a valid and lawful "off-label" Rx. for the treatment of Lyme disease.

    Lots of questions that Lymies want answered and some will be on this posting. Here are some Answers before you think of the Questions
Q: How does HBO compare with antibiotic therapy:?
A: "To date,there have be 4 double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized controlled trial of antibiotics thery in individual with chronic Lyme disease. (Fallon et al, 2007; Klempner et al 2001; Krupp 2003.) Unfortunately, no trial has demonstrated a sustained improvement in benefit; moreover, potentially serious adverse event have occurred  (Marques 2008.)" 1  . . .  "The most recent study which employed  of 10 weeks of intravenous ceftriaxone in the treatment arm, also showed no sustained improvement in cognitive improvement," 2

Q: Is HBO more effective and faster than an antibiotic response and will it "cure" Lyme disease?
A: "It cannot be stated that HBO cures or permanently suppresses chronic Lyme disease, although it can be said that the HBO protocol used in the preliminary study at Texas A&M reduced the symptoms and greatly improved the quality of life among  this series of very ill paatients . . . . It does seem clear that HBO improves or eliminated the symptoms in patients who have been treated with antibiotics for several years and have shown no further mitigation of disease symptomology. Moreover, the results described here suggest that  the further improvement observed is due to HBO, which is the only factor that changed in the long-standing treatment regimen" 3

1,2,3  Quotes from KK Jain  HBO Therapy in Chronic  Lyme Disease -- William P. fife and caroline Fife --Texas A&M 6 year study commencing 1990

Sandsie's Comment:
    After more than 70 Lyme disease patients where most claimed  "cure" at the end of a series of HBO Tx. (between 26 and 40), I had formed the opinion that the Centers that participated had over a 90% (or better) success rate.
  However, note from the chart above, of 91 patients in the "Fife" study, 12% said that they had "Zero improvement." 
   Since  patients travel from all over the World, even the low prices at the HCI centers (a twitch under $200.00 per Tx session), the overall costs can be significant. I worried for those that traveled, spent and felt that it had failed.
   Allow me to introduce a young man from England. We will call him "Sean" He called the Healing Chambers "San Diego Hyperbarics Gateway Medical Center."

Sean was a professional dancer, had performed in most Mayfair musical productions and classical ballet. 

Where only the best get to perform, One of Sean's favorite roles was in the musical "Cats."

If you have had the pleasure of  being in the audience, you will know how strong 

and vigorous the dancers have to be.

Sean's Story:
   Just a voice on the telephone with a posh British accent . . . from London. "I have been sick for three years. How much are your sessions? I will be there next week."
   On arrival, Sean explained that, since a trip to India with a troupe of dancers, he had been so ill and consulted so many Harley Street Medical Specialists. "They all denied that there was such a thing as Lyme disease. In fact, last week, when I told a top British infectious disease specialists he actually threatened me with a lock down and told me that he was going to recommend psychiatric treatment and hypnotherapy."
   I may look strong right at the moment. But I have lost almost thirty pounds and have zero strength . . . you try spending a day at rehearsal, lifting a 130 lb female over your head and, especially if she misses her leaping cue. I can no longer dance."
Sandsie's Comment:
   Sean spent a month in San Diego. He was taken regularly over the Mexican boarder into Tijuana by another well-meaning patient who held the conviction that some of the American "Doctors" who lived in the U.S. but had offices in that city (to avoid the FDA) could assist with Sean coping with his Herx' reactions. Because of heavy traffic, not all of Sean's HBO Tx. were on consecutive days.
   Sean went back to London, somewhat disappointed. I came to believe that he was one that we "missed" and part of the 12% "zero results." I was sorry for his wasted efforts. Then, about a week ago, Sean managed to get a message through. His comments are high-lighted in yellow:


   So great to hear from ya. Glad to hear you raising hell from Hawaii and also taking it sort of easy and enjoying life must be a beautiful place to live. I agree you have to make changes in this world but boy there is so much stuff set in sludge, wading through to even get anywhere is so hard and time consuming, people are asleep, sleep walking through life and out for nothing but money greed and personal gain - we have a lot to battle against daily with our senseless systems we created – I’ve learnt so the last few years so much dose not work! lol! I guess you have to forgive it all and try to except everything has limitations - but we can still forge forward to create better systems for ourselves. 

   Aloha Sean . . . 
   Interesting to me that there is a change taking place in Medicine - at least in the U.S.  The Economist talks about "Medicine and its Rivals" 
   You will find it interesting that the most determined not to  see any complimentary medical alternatives are the Brits and the Aussie medical fraternity. We get a lot of Australians coming to our centers. The HBO Medical "Powers-that-Be" Down-Under have a firm grip on HBO. And they all sing the same song that you have heard constantly --'THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS LYME DISEASE IN AUSTRALIA." I am beginning to believe that there is a world-wide conspiracy to hide something that is modified by crazy scientists and in so doing, shift the blame from themselves. 
   In  a nutshell, any ailment, disease or trauma needs to have an interdisciplinary approach -- there just is no such thing as a "magic bullet" Rx. So, while HBOT is a solid adjunct, there are heaps of other things needed (including iron grit) and the loss of friends and relatives who say "Get a life -- you do not look sick."

   My journey has been long and tough since I saw you but there is no denying you helped me really so much with the great treatment and life lessons and positive attitude. I’m so glad I came to San Diego met you and had hyperberic, it has profoundly changed me as a person and the way see life now in so many ways.

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."  Albert Einstein. 
   I was recently asked why I became an American and did not stay in Australia. My answer was about the same as Albert's thought. This is why you want so to return to San Diego. In essence, I was too good, too creative in Australia and its cronyism – many in Government have a total acceptance of mediocrity and a deep suspicion of excellence. That's you in Britain.

   Since then I have pushed every day to get my health back - the chambers really only kicked in about a year after for me but it did, along with a whole 12 months of antibiotics here in the U.K. It took me up a big level for sure. I have bout 75- 80-90 % of life back and some days it feels like I’m me again totally - amazing really 6 years nearly since I fell ill so its been a long battle. I weight train 3-4 times a week now - lol!.       I remember you made me use that long wooden stick at the chambers - I was so ill I could hardly get on that shaker machine! Now I'm lifting iron - still have a fatigue and swelling in places pain most days in located areas but that’s lyme for ya but I’m on top of it now. 

   Interesting about your experience. You are not the first. Remember your mate (I forget his name for the moment) who would make the journey over to Mexico with you? Same thing with him. He called in at the clinic a couple of months ago, TOTALLY well. Took about a year for him also. He is healthy - and like you - pumping iron. 
   Yes, it was fun to bully you with Freddie's Polynesian Gymnasium. But it did stop a lot of the pity-party stuff. One of the things with Lyme is the negative changes in  mood and mentation. When you go on their pages, all of these poor folk are so sad. As a supporter of these patients,  need to bully, kiss-up and cajole them . . . kindly  -- they are often at the point of sticking a musket in their mouth and then their families calling in the decorators.

   LD patients that work to get better -- surely they have my hat off to them. It takes determination and courage. Unfortunately not all of them have that relentless drive you do.

   Anyway Bob I can’t thank you enough for your work. You know what you do is so much more than offer a treatment for many illnesses - you offer Hope. That is priceless. You gave me hope I could get back. From my tiny flat in the miserable rain trodden Britain I searched for something to get me better and I found your centre, your web site ( - and it was the only offer of hope I was given in the years of darkness. thank you mate.

   Keep going and spread that message. thank you for time, effort, care in my personal journey to getting better and your support when I was alone in the States. I still can’t believe I got on a plane and came all the way to you guys alone sick as a dog.

   Keep in touch keep strong and I send Kind regards from bloody rainy Surrey!!! Bloody chucking it down here today here lol!

Sandsie Learned:
  • Fife et al is correct and NOT ALL Lyme Patients get better immediately on cessation of HBOT Tx.
  • After the Bb bacteria is killed by the bactericidal action of HBO, the Lyme patient requires a period of rehabilitation -- with some needing a year or more of hard work to wean off pain-killers and recover from other bPHARMA insults to their immune system of many years. ("70% continued to improve at six year follow up" see Fife chart above)

     Please remember that the results as shown here and demonstrated by the Fife study were in hospital grade 100% hyperbaric chambers. You cannot expect and will not get the same results from a a 4 psig air inflatable bag chamber. In fact, there are now hundreds of hospital quality chambers  in U.S. free-standing centers (no, your hospital will not treat you for Lyme in their chambers) that you can actually be treated for about half the cost of purchasing one of these so-called mildHBOT(bag) chambers.



"Courage . . . Lyme is just a bug and can be eradicated. YOU CAN AND WILL GET YOUR LIFE BACK"

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lyme spirochete is an "Equal Opportunity" bacteria.

                                        Young and Old, Male or Female . . .

When this patient staggered into the Clinic, she  was just out of a wheel chair.
In AussieSpeak, she did not have the strength to pull the skin
off a rice pudding 
-- let alone pull a 40lb bow.

The bug does not belong in you, 

                          time to take your life back . . .

After about 20 HBOT treatments, Vickie came into my office and said "Sandsie, the brain fog is gone . . .  my languages are back." And she immediately translated "For God so loved the World . . ." into Hebrew, Greek and French.

Now fully recovered and healthy, she now lives in Monaco. Yes. THAT Monaco.

Sandsie's Comment:

      At the outset, you will think that I am biased for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. You are correct. High density oxygen is a powerful bactericide. I have personally witnessed more than 85% of Lyme patients regain their lives using HBOT. The eradication and the rehabilitation of a Lyme illness requires a  multidisciplinary approach and HBOT should be under the purview of a Lyme Literate Doctor. 

To quote Dr. Caroline Fife from the Texas A&M pilot study on Lyme:
  • "It remains to be seen if HBOT can be considered as a adjunctive treatment to a rigorous regimen of antibiotic therapy. It does seems clear that HBOT improves or eliminates the symptoms in patients  who have been treated with antibiotics for several years and have shown no further mitigation of disease symptamology. Moreover, the results described here suggest that the further improvement observed is due to HBOT, which is the only factor that changed in the long-standing  treatment regimen."
     This posting of three such patients (two of  which had many years of IV antibiotic therapy with no gains) shows that. five years later, these patients are taking their lives back and their life-style activities show that they have actually eradicated (killed) the Bb bug along with its little shirt-tail riding co-infections. I have already talked about Megan Guthrie's happy recovery in a previous post.
    So, let's just have a pictorial look at a young woman who, like Vicky, did not have the strength to walk properly. Her story  at a later date. The  pictures show her NOW

Cute as a button --
"Being this well Never looked or felt so good."
"Why do Cowgirls and other horse riders get Lyme?
The ticks fall down their collars going through the brush,
land at the top of your jeans and settle right in."

Don't try this at home you other Lymie's. This should encourage you to believe that
 Sandie's Comment:
    So, now you have met with Alisha. Time to meet with Caz. His personal story will sound just like your own. I might mention that he was at the San Diego Center at the same time as Megan. He had an IV and Megan was done with antibiotics. 
    Caz says some nice things about me and the San Diego Center. Thanks heaps Caz. Remember, I am retired, One thing that we found is that Lymies are so emotionally fragile and arrive feeling hopeless, we have to give them lots of TLC and make sure that they get their emotional support in a friendly environment at no extra cost. Why? By the time Lymies finally find out what works, they usually do not have enough dollar resources to feed their pets.

       In Feb of 2007 I was diagnosed with stage three chronic Lyme disease after 3 years of intense illness. At the time of my diagnosis I was bed-ridden and emaciated, pain-ridden and miserable. Over the next two years I underwent antibiotic treatment under the care of a Lyme-literate doctor, slowly recovering to a point where, in early 2009, I could function almost like a normal person, leaving the house and running errands, etc. However, although I could function well on a basic level in regards to these everyday tasks of work and chores, I was frustrated by how fragile my functionality seemed to be- for after two years of treatment, I was still unable to exercise, miss sleep, or exert myself in any way without immediately feeling ill again.
     It was because this frustration that I decided to embark on a more aggressive treatment plan (consisting of a combination of IV antibiotics and Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments) in attempt to break through the flat spot in my recovery. Enter Bob Sands and 2 months at the San Diego Gateway Center for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. 1-888-691-1482

   Upon arriving at the clinic in June of 2009 I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of the place. Rather than being rushed in and out for my appointments, I was encouraged to stay at the clinic, relaxing and sharing knowledge and support with other patients. Every single staff member wanted to hear my story, know about my lifestyle, ask what I had tried before. It became clear after a few days that the San Diego HBOT center wasn’t just a clinic treating patients with Hyperbaric Medicine, it was a social hub for patients and caregivers dedicated to improving the quality of life of its patients by whatever means possible, supplementing Hyparbarics with healthy helpings of moral support, real-time assistance, and advice on alternative treatments. I was consistently struck by just how comprehensively dedicated everyone at the clinic was- more times than I could count I witnessed staff and patients (including the technicians and even the front desk attendant) having long discussions on how they were going to make it possible for a severely ill patient to attend the clinic, developing a ride schedule in which they would personally pick up/drop off the patient, make sure they were fed and had all the proper meds, etc. All of this was done for free, with never a single comment as to whether or not it was necessary, or a complaint as to who would pay for gas. It was just accepted that these things were too important not to be done. They will even provide locations of non-affiliated centers at locations near you if you call them.  

      And of course, let’s not forget the effectiveness of the treatment itself. After 3 weeks of combined hyperbaric and IV rocephin treatment at the San Diego center, I was shocked to find myself PLAYING SPORTS again with no lasting pain, breaking through that plateau of health that had limited me to every day basic activities. After 20 treatments I had joined an intramural soccer team, and was regularly attending the gym. My body felt stronger, my mind felt clearer, and I found myself enjoying better health than I had experienced since first becoming ill in 2003. By the time I left the clinic (after 40 treatments total) I was confident enough in my health to register for classes the following term, and subsequently returned to my academic career. In fact, I was so impacted by my treatment at the San Diego HBOT Gateway Center that I changed my scholastic goals, and after a year of schooling I am now a registered EMT and a Hyperbaric Medical Technician Intern at a San Francisco area Hyperbaric clinic. I am happy, healthy, and dedicated to paying forward the spirit of proactive healing I learned from Bob Sands and all of the staff at the San Diego HBOT center.
"Sailing the World, spearfishing and enjoying life. Hard to believe!"
Caslin Tomaszeszewski

Sandsie's FINAL Comment:
    Plenty of testimonials out there attesting to what help Lymies to recover, along with the photographs. In the instance of those of this post, you might notice that Caz has sailed around the World, speared fish, and had wonderful pain-free adventures. And, five years later, no signs of relapsing into Lyme.

In the next post I will answer some serious scientific questions about HBOT and Lyme.  Keep the faith in yourself, you Lymie's and also you fibromyalgia and CFIDS foks. 


MAHALO -- Sandsie

     Please remember that the results as shown here and demonstrated by the Fife study were in hospital grade 100% hyperbaric chambers. You cannot expect and will not get the same results from a a 4 psig air inflatable bag chamber. In fact, there are now hundreds of hospital quality chambers  in U.S. free-standing centers (no, your hospital will not treat you for Lyme in their chambers) that you can actually be treated for about half the cost of purchasing one of these so-called mildHBOT(bag) chambers.
    The ONLY inflatable chamber in the entire world that   is the British   HyperLite SOS chamber. It has code approval  and provides 100% Oxygen and appropriate pressures  that can eradicate bacteria and fungi. 

Sandsie's Comment on chambers --  



Sandsie's Comment on inflatable chambers --  DANGEROUS.

If an inflatable chamber is operated to (or any chamber for that mater)Is operated to its manufacturers instruction all should be Okay. This means you cannot take you inflatable and mess with it by increasing its MAWP, or add oxygen, Federal Laws and codes prevent this.
Apart from the fact that ALL inflatable chambers sold in the United States have had rupture and deflation events (ear an lung damage, usually transitional events in the patient's life), the most lethal potential is the fact that the el-cheapo compressors that inflate  the chamber have inadequate filters to keep out all of the mold spores and contaminants that they pump and compress room air into that chamber. All claim that they have "in line filters that capture contaminants down to .003 of a micron." Even worse, most home owners purchase an oxygen generator and, apart from the sponge on the air intake -- no filter at all but are pronounced as "safe."  Bunkum. Most suppliers or users do not know what a micron is. Most users are never instructed on how often to change filters of any sort.

Sandsie Comment:

When room air is compressed into a chamber -- say at 4 psig then you have made it thicker by around a third. If the air is contaminated with crud that went through your filter and then "grew" (yes mold spores grow in the right environment!), you now have at least three times the mold spores in the chamber than outside in the room where you operate the chamber. Mucous membranes transport it into the patient's body. Lungs are a major target for mold. Radys Children's Hospital San Diego is fastidious about infection control -- as are most pediatric hospitals. Still, Mucor mold sneaks past their super efficient HEPA filters and little kids die.

Now for the really scary possibility of a cheap-chamber. Look carefully at the weeny red micron dot and you might think "the inline filter IS .003 of a micron in my compressor is actually so tiny when compared with a human hair. All will be well."

For comparison, substitute the 1,500 feet tall  Empire State Building instead of the diameter of a human hair. Hold your  thumb up.That is about the comparison of an atom. if you held your thumb on the side of that building, three thumb lengths is about the same as a carbon monoxide molecule (2 plus 1). So tiny, it wouldn't even notice the filter in your home chamber. Enough of them (or any number of household cleansing agents) can usurp red-blood cells ability to carry oxygen to tissue. Good news is you can change these harmful agents simply. Tell you how in the next Sandsie Blog.

First thing Sandsie noticed was the use of the lowest quality
(cost) components that any hardware store would have on its
shelves. Further inspection found that the pressurization
(from the compressor - yellow line-  stank, as did the exhaust
lines which should have remained crystal clear. The  green oxygen
 line was also badly contaminated from the generators.

Back to the potential of lethal mold. In Hawaii  oxygen is expensive. A purchaser sold her inflatable and spent on the more expensive Baby Blue "hard" chamber. The factory sent its "technical expert" to install it. Two oxygen generators were part of the package as well as the "safe" air compressor. 

A year after installation,  I  was asked to run my eye over it since I had been designing and fabricating chambers for thirty years. I found that  even with two oxygen generators, running, simultaneously, the entire system would not deliver 100% oxygen at 2 ATA. So the patient  stopped using the oxygen generators and purchased  100% oxygen from the local gas supplier. When I checked it all I was surprised to find that after just one year, the entire gas supply  was contaminated with yukkie, poisonous  mold.

Dangerous? You bet. 

The technician operating the chamber breathed oxygen from the generator because the patient was breathing 100% gaseous oxygen,
The technician became extremely ill and within three days could not make it up a flight of six stairs. His lung problems took  9 months to correct.
     Sandsie's Recomendations if you already own an inflatable chamber:
  • Use it EXACTLY according to manufacture's directions. If the manufacturer  says not to ADD oxygen -- do not do that. Just run it on room air.
  • Remember that you will melt more molecular oxygen into your body just breathing 100% oxygen ON THE SURFACE than you can get in an inflatable chamber. 
  • Ask your supplier for the correct filters -- carbon and HEPA
  • Make sure that the location that you operate your chamber is a "clean room" with appropriate HEPA filters. Vacuum the room daily  with a high quality HEPA) vacuum cleaner. Keep exterior windows closed.

   Sandsie's Recomendations if you already own any chamber:

If you have any chamber that included such sub-systems such as compressors, fire  supression, oxygen generators or supply lines all from the one supplier, it becomes a "system."

You have the need and that supplier has an obligation to visit your establishment for inspection -- even recalling devices where claims were made about the safety of  any sub-system.

A great example of this is of the Fortius Baby Blue chamber pictured above -- yes a "hard chamber" but with dangerous contaminants that almost cost a technician his life. Not from the chamber but from the sub-systems supplied at the time of installation.