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Toddler's Brain Damage Reversed After She Nearly Drowned

Image: Toddler's Brain Damage Reversed After She Nearly Drowned

A 2-year-old girl's brain damage seems to be reversed after doctors tried two types of oxygen therapy. (Vesna Njagulj/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 06:04 PM

Doctors say they've reversed a 2-year-old’s severe brain damage caused by drowning and have restored her to nearly normal functioning with two types of oxygen therapy.

Eden Carlson fell into a swimming pool in February 2016 and was submerged for up to 15 minutes before being found, causing her to be unresponsive to stimuli, unable to move, and constantly squirming and shaking, according to Newsweek.

Brain scans showed injury to the gray matter of the brain as well as loss of white and gray matter, Newsweek reported. Doctors at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine and the University of North Dakota School of Medicine decided to treat the toddler experimentally, first with normobaric oxygen therapy, in which oxygen levels are the same as at sea level, and then with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is highly pressurized pure oxygen administered in a special chamber.

After several months of treatment with each therapy, about 162 days in all, the 2-year-old started walking and talking again, and has resumed nearly normal functioning for her age.

While this is only one instance of oxygen therapy having this effect, it did work in this case and will likely be tried on a larger scale after the success shown with Eden, Gizmodo reported.

Researchers stress that Eden's young age probably helped her brain regenerate tissue and begin to improve function, and that similar results would be unlikely with older children and adults, Newsweek reported.

Still, the amazing results could lead to more studies on the effects of oxygen therapies, which have been considered “alternative medicine” up until now, Gizmodo noted.

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Doctors say they've reversed a 2-year-old’s severe brain damage caused by drowning and have restored her to nearly normal functioning with two types of oxygen therapy.
toddler, brain, damage, reversed, drowned
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2017-04-19
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 06:04 PM
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