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Hyperbaric Medicine Tackles Long COVID

U.S. Navy recruiter John Meehan (center), Sandra Wainwright, MD, (right), and Ellen Stacom, RN (left)
U.S. Navy recruiter John Meehan presented Sandra Wainwright, MD, (right) medical director, Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing, and Ellen Stacom, RN, a certified hyperbaric medicine nurse, with a commendation for going above and beyond to provide care.

U.S. Navy recruiter John Meehan of Southbury, Conn., contracted COVID-19 in November 2022 and later developed debilitating symptoms such as chest pain, muscle twitches, neurological impairments and vision problems.

“People say COVID-19 is over,” he noted. “But it’s not truly over. People are still suffering.” Studies show about 10 percent of individuals infected with COVID-19 experience long COVID, the term used to describe the lingering symptoms that appear for some unknown reason.

Meehan found relief from long COVID with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing. Meehan had 60 sessions, each two-and-a-half hours long, five days a week. Now he’s feeling much better and back to recruiting for the Navy.

HBOT saturates the blood with 100 percent oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure to boost the body’s natural healing process. Greenwich Hospital is the only hospital in Connecticut and one of the few nationwide to use HBOT to treat COVID-19 and long COVID.

“Long COVID is our second pandemic,” said Sandra Wainwright, MD, the center’s medical director. “My hope is that from a grassroots level the word gets out that hyperbaric medicine can dramatically improve and even cure long COVID. If we can return people to their former selves and back to work again, that would have a significant positive economic impact on society.”