Friday, May 1, 2009

Fear, uncertainty and doubt

The good folks over at Left Brain Right Brain have sunk to a new low.  They are piggybacking on a story from today where 2 people, a woman and a child, were critically injured in an explosion at medical center that offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).  I have found two stories so far that have details about the incident, here and here.

This is clearly a tragic incident and I hope the the two people injured recover from their injuries.

So what does the thoughtful Kev from LBRB have to say about this?

He jumps at the fact that a doctor that he dislikes gave a presentation in 2004 at a conference that was sponsored by the center and immediately spins it to  -
And so, I have to wonder – was this child autistic and undergoing a totally pointless HBOT session when the chamber exploded? Time will tell..
So, what does this potentially exploding chamber have to do with autism?  

Absolutely nothing.

If the child that was injured had autism and was there for a HBOT treatment specifically for treating autism then what does this story have to do with autism?

Absolutely nothing.

This story has to do with a tragic accident at a medical facility.  It has to do with the potential risk of an HBOT chamber exploding.  If you read the stories I linked to above you run across this quote from a woman who runs another HBOT clinic - 
...if the hyperbaric chamber exploded, it could be the first such incident in the United States.

"The last accident was at least 15 or 16 years ago in Asia, because the patient brought in a hand warmer," she said. "These chambers are safe if you do it correctly. You have to take precautions because you're dealing with 100 percent oxygen."
So chambers aren't exploding all over the place and this isn't something has happened very often, if ever, in the US.  HBOT chambers tend not to explode nor do they have any extra incentive to explode when used to treat autism.

The purpose of the post at LBRB is fear, uncertainty, and doubt.  It is there to say "see we told you HBOT wasn't a good idea".   It is there to discredit HBOT for treating autism - "see you can be hurt doing the treatment".  But mostly it is there to twist a tragic event into a rhetorical point in their ideological war against treating autism.

How pathetic is that.


OK, I thought the post on LBRB was bad until I ran across this one at -
Where LBRB just hinted at the "we told you so" Kristina Chew comes out and says it -
While some have offered anecdotal reports about the effectiveness of HBOT in "treating" autism, HBOT is one of many experimental, unproven, biomedical treatments for autism---why is it that families willingly try "anything and everything to 'treat' autism? Why put a child's safety and even life at risk in the name of "treatment for autism"?
So there you have it, HBOT for autism puts your child's safety at risk

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