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For deep water divers who decompress too quickly, doctors may advise they lie inside a pressurized glass tube and inhale pure oxygen to treat painful symptoms known as “the bends.” The oxygen boost is thought to reduce swelling and prevent infection.

The treatment, known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT, is approved for a few other conditions, like carbon monoxide poisoning and a form of gangrene. But some clinics around the country offer it for numerous other health problems, including migraine headaches, depression, strokes, and even brain injuries. And HBOT hasn’t been proven to work for most of these, according to the FDA.

That hasn’t stopped many people from fundraising for the treatment — and many other unproven or alternative treatments — on crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and YouCaring (GoFundMe bought YouCaring in April 2018).

…continue reading ‘Crowdfunding Drives Funds And Attention Toward Questionable Medical Treatments’

Thumb image Sara Wong for NPR 

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