IMAGINE N.O.W. - NURTURING OUR WARRIORS
Chere’ Pedersen Excutive Director of Imagine N.O.W.
Chere’ was born in Ft. Gordan, Georgia. Growing up with a father who served for 33 years and retired as a US Army Col. and raising a son who enlisted in the Army after 9/11 at age 17 and served for 11 years incuding 3 deployments, 2 in Iraq & 1 in Afghanistan as a Combat Medic.Has helped her understand the many needs of Military families. Chere’ joined the Blue Star Mothers of Southern Nevada in 2004. She served as President for several terms as well as 1st V.P. Treasurer, & 3rd V.P. and as the Blue to Gold Liasson on the board. She curently serves as 1st V.P. and is the Public Relations Coordinator , in charge of Media and fundraising for the Henderson & Boulder City Chapter NV4. Chere’ has lived in Henderson, Nevada for 25 years and became very active serving the Veteran Community by helping our formaly homeless Veterans furnish their new homes and helping collect items to be sent to the War zone. With 14 years expierence volunteering for non-profit organizations, she formed close relationships and first hand knowledge of the local Veteran Community.She was appointed by the Govoner to serve on the Advisory Board for the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. And serves as a VAVS representative and on several boards including the newly formed Veterans Council.
“Of all the therapies I have been treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen has helped me the most.”
Joe DeLamielleure | NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2003 | NFL Buffalo Bills
Treating traumatic brain injury and ending Veteran suicide.
Providing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and other proven modalities including neurofeedback, physical therapy and individual and family counseling.
- Wound Care
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
WHO WE ARE
Imagine NOW Veteran’s Treatment Center is a non-profit dedicated to helping Veterans by treating Veterans – and, when indicated, their families – suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Currently, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the only therapy known to repair brain damage – also known as concussion or traumatic brain injury. Treatment is always better when undertaken soon after the injury but has been shown effective in Vietnam Veterans sixty years after brain injury was incurred.
WHY IMAGINE NOW
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder is currently not reimbursed by the Veterans Administration od insurance carriers so all Imagine NOW must raise funds to pay for the treatment.
ABOUT HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment in which a patient breathes near 100% oxygen while in a treatment chamber at a pressure higher than sea level (i.e., >1 atmosphere absolute; atm abs).
HBOT pushes high levels of oxygen and valuable nutrients to injury areas under increased atmospheric pressure which reduces edema, reinvigorates patient immune systems and generates stem cell growth. These curative effects transfer well to other trauma incidental to plastic surgery, stem cell implants, crush injuries as well as injuries to the brain such as concussion and traumatic brain injury.
Oxygen plays a vital role in the body’s healing process. By increasing oxygen from 20 percent in normal air to 100 percent under pressurized conditions, the lungs and skin are able to absorb more oxygen in less time. Speeding up the circulation process can, in turn, give patients a better chance at recovery and potentially avert the need for limb amputation or tissue removal.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
HBOT is a new application of an established technology to help resolve certain recalcitrant, expensive or otherwise hopeless medical conditions. For certain indications, HBOT is the primary treatment modality; in others it is an adjunct to surgical or pharmacologic interventions.
Treatments are carried out in either a mono‑ or multiplace chamber. Monoplace chambers are for a single patient and is pressurized with near 100% oxygen so patients breathe ambient chamber oxygen directly. Multiplace chambers hold two or more people and are pressurized with compressed air; patients breathe oxygen via masks, head hoods or endotracheal tubes.
How Does It Work
At seas level the atmosphere exerts 14.7 pounds per square inch of pressure which is also called one atmosphere absolute (1 ATA). Under sea level conditions, people breathe a mixture of air comprised of approximately 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. In HBOT, patients breathe near 100% oxygen and the atmospheric pressure inside the chambers is adjusted up from one-half to two or three times more than normal. Dr. Paul Harch, the leading HBOT researcher and clinician at LSU, recommends 1.5 atmospheres for most cases although each condition has its own protocol for optimal results (Tufts: 2016; Harch: 2016).
HBOT – breathing near 100% oxygen under more than one atmosphere – provides more oxygen at the cell level than is available by breathing 100% oxygen at sea level. The intake of near 100% oxygen under pressure saturates oxygen-carrying platelets as would be expected but it also pushes oxygen into the plasma which means up to 15% more oxygen than normal becomes available to cells. The net is that hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides more oxygen and nutrients to diseased or injury sites than would otherwise be available (Navy Diving Manual:2014).
In addition, research shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy stimulates the immune system and activates stem cells to generate new tissue in damaged areas (Thom SR et al:2006).
Therapeutic Principals of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Increased atmospheric pressure is of therapeutic value in treating decompression sickness and air embolism because it provides a physical means to reduce the volume of inert gas bubbles in the body; Provided increased atmospheric pressure is maintained for a sufficient time most of the bubble gas is dissolved back into the tissues, removed by perfusion and then eliminated in the lungs.
- For many other conditions, the therapeutic principle of HBOT lies in its ability to drastically increase partial pressure of oxygen in the tissues of the body. The partial pressures of oxygen achievable using HBOT are much higher than those achievable while breathing pure oxygen at normobaric conditions (i.e. at normal atmospheric pressure);
- In addition, HBOT increases the capacity to transport oxygen in the blood. Under normal atmospheric pressure, oxygen transport is limited by the capacity of oxygen to bind hemoglobin in red blood cells and very little oxygen is transported by the blood plasma. Oxygen transport by plasma, however is significantly increased using HBOT.
- Recent evidence notes that exposure to hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT) mobilizes stem/progenitor cells from the bone marrow by a nitric oxide (NO) -dependent mechanism. This mechanism may account for the patient cases that suggest recovery of damaged organs and tissues with HBOT (Wiki:2016).
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treat Brain Injury
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the lives of Veterans and their families by treating injured brain tissue damaged by wounds, explosive devices, and other blows to the head. Breathing 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber raises oxygen levels throughout the body as well as the brain, reduces swelling, generates stem cell production at the point of injury, boosts the health of damaged cells and improves brain function.
The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Under normal circumstances, around 20% of the air we breathe is oxygen. The oxygen taken into the body under normal atmospheric conditions is dissolved and transported by red blood cells. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, 100% oxygen is taken in and dissolved and transported not only by red blood cells but an additional 15% or so of additional oxygen is dissolved in the body’s fluids, blood plasma, central nervous system fluids, lymph system, and bone.
Thus more oxygen than is usually available to the body is taken in and dissolved and carried under pressure throughout the body to injury areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, additional oxygen reaches damaged tissue and helps the body support its own healing process by generating stem cells at the point of injury. This flow of increased oxygen under pressure greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow rapidly in the affected areas. It is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.
Contraindications of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Upper respiratory infections and chronic sinusitis make it difficult for the patient to clear his/her ears.
Often decongestants will open the sinuses; occasionally surgical myringotomy is needed to maintain open Eustachian tubes. Treatment can be halted for three or four days to allow respiratory infection to clear.
High fever can predispose to oxygen seizures but in such cases drugs can lower the fever.
In some patients with severe emphysema and COPD the only stimulus to breathe is hypoxemia because such patients have lost their sensitivity to normal levels of CO-2. These patients may cease breathing if placed in the hyperbaric chamber.
Patients with a lower than normal seizure threshold may be more prone to seizure due to oxygen toxicity. If hyperbaric oxygen therapy is required, however, additional anticonvulsants can be added to these patients’ regimens.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is contraindicated for patients with pneumothorax or collapsed lung; caution is advised for patients with a history of spontaneous pneumothorax.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also not recommended for patients with active cancerous conditions. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not recommended for pregnant women except in life-threatening emergencies.