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Bends treatment may cut meningococcal impact

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Doctors in Melbourne are hoping hyperbaric therapy normally used to treat the bends could reduce the impact of a debilitating form of meningococcal infection.

Doctors in Melbourne are hoping hyperbaric therapy normally used to treat the bends could reduce the impact of a debilitating form of meningococcal infection.A 34-year-old man was expected to lose limbs to meningococcal septicaemia when recently admitted to intensive care at the Alfred Hospital.However, doctors trialled a new combination of treatments including “hyperbaric oxygen therapy”, to increase oxygen to the man’s limbs.A senior nurse on the Alfred team, Natt McGregor, says the patient recovered with only the loss of some toes.Ms McGregor says while more trials need to be conducted, the case could provide a breakthrough to the management of some forms of meningococcal infection.”At this stage hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a standard therapy for meningococcal septicaemia, but … in combination with other treatments, we used it [and it] may just improve his outcome or hopefully prevent limb loss,” Ms McGregor said.While doctors warn the treatment will need further trials to gain wide acceptance, staff at the Alfred Hospital will consider further use of the decompression chamber for some forms of meningococcal disease.(Source: ABC, Sunday, August 31, 2003. 7:51am (AEST))

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Dates

Posted On: 1 September, 2003
Modified On: 5 December, 2013


Created by: myVMC