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From (Panama City, FL):
Linda Cope is well known to those in Bay County for her work as founder and president of the Warrior Beach Retreat Inc.
She also has been stumping for new treatments to aid wounded warriors in their recovery.
Cope testified last week before Congress in support of a proposal to allow the military to pay for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for brain injuries. She said her testimony went well and was backed up by doctors and former military officials.
The U.S. has used hyperbaric treatments for injuries but not brain injuries.
“It’s a high oxygen chamber pressurized,” Cope said. “You breathe it in and it heals the body from the inside out. People are becoming more familiar with hyperbaric healing.”
Cope said her oldest son, Sgt. Joshua Cope, lost both his legs in an “improvised explosive device” blast on Nov. 12, 2006, and has undergone hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It has helped her son, she said.
“It is usually 40 treatments for about an hour a day, five days a week,” Cope said.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen while in a sealed chamber that has been pressurized at up to three times normal atmospheric pressure, according to the American Cancer Society.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is conventional treatment for decompression sickness, commonly called “the bends.”
The most recent bill regarding this issue, HR 4568, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, was attached to the House Armed Services bill and a companion provision was attached to the Senate Armed Services bill.
Cope is asking the public to contact their congressional representatives in Washington D.C. to help push the legislation forward. She also noted that President Barack Obama is in favor of the bill.
The U.S. Marines are currently testing hyperbaric chambers for brain injury treatment in California.
During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing earlier this year, military officials told Armed Services Chair U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, that hyperbaric oxygen therapy had been working for brain injured veterans.
One study has shown that since 2004 over 70 percent of the casualties of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan have been traumatic brain injuries.
Read at original source.

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