By Leland Schwartz
Fauquier Channel One
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Scientists, Engineers, Propose Using Grounded Airliners For COVID Oxygen Therapy Treatment
The Plains, Virginia — A growing number of physicians, scientists and engineers who use pressurized oxygen chambers to treat patients with severe wounds and infections as well as other conditions are urging the government to convert the nation’s grounded airliners into large-scale COVID treatment facilities.
Oxygen therapy was used 100 years ago to arrest the Spanish Flu, they say, and is now being used in China to treat virus patients.
“They’re using this in China to treat severe and critically ill patients,” says Edward di Girolamo, PE, who runs the hyperbaric clinic Extivita in Durham,North Carolina and produced a video to publicize the therapy.
“It’s clear this is a great opportunity primarily because hyperbaric oxygen is an anti-viral, anti-bacteria fungus therapy.”
There are 1,500 hospitals in the U.S. with wound care centers and hyperbaric chambers, and others scattered around the country, but most of them can only treat one or two patients at a time.
Di Girolamo, along with other hyperbaric oxygen supporters, say that military and commercial airplanes are already pressure-capable and hundreds, if not thousands of them, are grounded at airports all over the country.
“These planes are required to carry pressure because when you’re up at 30,000 feet the air is very thin — you’re essentially in a hyperbaric chamber,” he said, making “airports a great and viable treatment option.”
Fauquier County, Virginia entrepreneur Ralph Crafts is one of the people urging the government to utilize the country’s aircraft for COVID treatment. He and his wife, Bobbie, use a hyperbaric chamber and have reported positive results on multiple non-COVID fronts.
The Crafts recently donated two chambers to former pro basketball player and recovered addict Chris Herren — one for his soon-to-open Herren Wellness Center outside of Warrenton.
In a letter delivered to Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger last week, Crafts, a former Marine pilot, said the use of HBOT and aircraft could help stop the spread of COVID-19, and “ensure the continuity of critical segments of government.”
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, he wrote “has been proven to be immediately effective in treating severe COVID-19 cases, with a success rate close to 100%.”
“The currently publicized and widely accepted statement that there is no effective treatment for COVID-19 is wrong,” he wrote. “HBOT treatments, usually just a single one-hour session, provide immediate improvements in lung function, blood-oxygen levels, and organ recovery.”
Crafts, who uses an HBOT chamber regularly, said that “unlike respirators, which do more damage than good and are basically a death sentence, HBOT provides an immediate path for recovery and healing.”
He said a team of “very experienced scientists and HBOT experts have developed a concept that will enable the effective treatment of large numbers of people by using some of the thousands of grounded commercial aircraft as large HBOT chambers.“
“As a Marine,” Crafts said in his letter to Pottinger — who also served in the Marines — “and with my knowledge of HBOT, the recent death of the Theodore Roosevelt sailor is particularly upsetting, knowing that a couple of Senior Chiefs or Marine Master Sergeants could have configured an aircraft in Guam in a couple of hours and be treating all the sailors from the carrier. “
Edward A. Betts, who runs American Nitrox Divers International (ANDI) in Freeport, N.Y., also wrote to Pottinger saying “Many of us in the hyperbaric medicine community believe that there exists a simple therapy to halt the inflammatory process and reverse the lung damage. “
He said the process provides “many times over the amount of oxygenation offered by the coma-inducing intubation ventilator procedure.”
“Initial testing indicates in one trial study 100% improvement while all others underway,” he wrote, “although small scale, are showing great benefit at extremely low cost and patient risk.”
Betts told Pottinger hyperbaric oxygen therapy is viable and appears to work well, “but we do not have the number of pressure vessels / HB chambers available to treat the possibly 100,000+ who need the therapy now.”
Betts said he and his colleagues are trying to secure the use of an airplane with an onboard Auxiliary Power Unit to pressurize the aircraft to treat COVID-19 patients and show the effectiveness of the concept.
“Several of us in our small community have arrived at the same idea in several countries,” Betts said.
Betts also operates The Patriot Clinic in Oklahoma City where they have provided over 15,000 free HBOT treatments “for our beloved vets and 30,000+ at cost or below.”
He and the Crafts say they have all the equipment ready and staged for treating up to 25 people at a time — without the use of drugs, surgeries, sedatives, or respirators — once they have access to the right aircraft.