State Campaigns – Louisiana

State of Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution HCR No. 105By Louisiana State Representative Julie Skinner Stokes stokesj@legis.la.gov

August 2019 HCR NO. 105State of Louisiana

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

ENROLLED

To urge and request the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the Tulane University School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and the Louisiana Department of Health, to study the medical effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment in treating traumatic brain injuries and the feasibility of establishing a program that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment and recovery services to veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines traumatic brain injury as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury; and

WHEREAS, traumatic brain injuries can affect many areas of a person’s life including physical functions, thinking abilities, and behaviors, and those effects sometimes cause other difficulties such as sleeping problems, depression, and anxiety; and

WHEREAS, there is growing evidence that a traumatic brain injury can have long-term effects on health, including an increased risk of dementia and other neurological and neurodegenerative disorders; and

WHEREAS, while there are many causes of traumatic brain injuries, active duty and reserve service members are at an increased risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury compared to their civilian peers; and

WHEREAS, from 2002 to 2010, over five hundred Louisiana service members in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury-related conditions at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities; and

WHEREAS, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatment is a medical treatment that uses greater than ambient pressure oxygen as a drug by fully enclosing a person in a pressure vessel and then adjusting the dose of the drug to treat pathophysiologic processes of disease; and

WHEREAS, studies have shown that at the chronic stage of traumatic brain injury, HBOT has been shown to improve behavioral and neurobiological outcomes, and recent clinical trials favor HBOT as a promising and safe therapeutic strategy for severe traumatic brain injury patients.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby urge and request the chancellor of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the dean of Tulane University School of Medicine, in conjunction with the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, to study the medical effectiveness of providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy to those veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and the feasibility of establishing a program that provides such hyperbaric oxygen treatment and recovery services at no cost to the veteran.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the study shall include a determination as to the medical effectiveness of HBOT in veterans with traumatic brain injuries and a determination as to the feasibility of providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment and recovery services at no cost to the veteran.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the chancellor of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the dean of Tulane University School of Medicine, in conjunction with the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, shall report their determinations and findings to the Louisiana Legislature no later than February 1, 2020.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the chancellor of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, the dean of Tulane University School of Medicine, the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, and the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.

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