Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Homepage

Paul Harch, MD

Simultaneously, Drs. Van Meter and Sheldon Gottlieb, a colleague of Dr. Neubauer and director of research at the Baromedical Research Institute of New Orleans, were conducting a trial of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in brain injured boxers with a small grant from the Hirsch Foundation. Encouraging preliminary results from this study and results from the divers and the small series of chronic traumatic brain injured and stroke patients spawned the Perfusion/Metabolism Encephalopathy Study of Drs. Harch, Gottlieb, Van Meter, and Staab under the auspices of the JoEllen Smith Medical Center Institutional Review Board. This study commenced in 1993, terminated in 1999, and allowed the evaluation and treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy and SPECT brain imaging of a large number of patients with a variety of chronic neurological diseases, including decompression sickness, stroke, traumatic brain injury, carbon monoxide poisoning, cerebral palsy, near-drowning, toxic brain injury, cardiac arrest, static encephalopathy of childhood, autism, and others. The patients were evaluated with SPECT imaging before and after one and then a series of low-pressure hyperbaric oxygen treatments. In this group was the first reported North American case of cerebral palsy successfully treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The case was reported in 1994 (3) and then the videos of this case and a second child treated in 1993-4 were combined with a 3rd case of Dr. Neubauer and presented at the International Conference on HBOT in Buenos Aires, Argentina in April, 1996. To date Dr. Harch has treated a very large number of children with cerebral palsy or static encephalopathy of various causes. Some of these videos and the accompanying SPECT brain scans were shown at the First International Symposium on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and the Brain Injured Child in Boca Raton, Florida, July 23-4, 1999.
Dr. Harch has imaging and treatment data on a large number of patients, the publication of which awaits funding, hopefully through the solicitations of this website. As a result of Dr. Neubauer’s 22 year and Dr. Harch’s 10 year experience in HBOT with acute and chronic stroke, a national pilot trial of HBOT for Acute Stroke (HOTFAST) is under development with Drs. James F. Toole and Paul Harch as the co-principal investigators and Dr. Neubauer as senior honorary consultant In this trial, the three physicians will evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of HBOT in the first 6 hours of stroke. The physicians will attempt to duplicate the published results of Dr. Neubauer and others using a rigorous experimental design. More details will follow below.
Dr. Harch is currently clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Section of Emergency Medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Co-Medical Director of the Hyperbaric Medicine Department at St. Charles General Hospital, New Orleans, Clinical and Research Director of the LSU Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship, and former Director of the JoEllen Smith Hyperbaric Medicine Unit of New Orleans. He is the principal investigator on 2 other LSU IRB-approved studies that are nearing completion, the Rat Open Head Bonk Trial of HBOT in the Treatment of Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury and the Nitrogen Tetroxide/SPECT brain imaging study of heavily exposed individuals in Bogalusa, Louisiana. He stays active in emergency medicine while maintaining a large full-time clinical hyperbaric medicine practice that has become one of the largest past and present experiences of neurological applications of HBOT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *