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Hyperbaric Medicine

Hyperbaric medicine is recognized by most of us as the treatment of choice for deep dive sickness via decompression ( a process for removing excess nitrogen gas bubbles from the blood stream). Well-hyperbaric medicine has come a long way, is appropriate for many indications and can be the treatment of choice for conditions requiring hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) such carbon monoxide poisoning. Hyperbaric medicine has also provided great success in providing evidence-based, advanced wound care technology to improve chronic diabetic ulcers, radiation injuries, burns, and crushing injuries to tissue.

Treatments are provided in FDA approved, multiplace or monoplace hyperbaric chambers that delivers 100% oxygen in an environment that is pressurized 2-3 x normal atmospheric pressure. The theory is that with the additional oxygen and pressure, the oxygen transport cabability of the blood is greatly enhanced bringing an oxygen rich blood supply to promote faster healing in compromised tissues. The chamber also promotes vasoconstriction which can help in some conditions like burns. Patients are monitored by clinical staff throughout the treatment, which normally lasts about 2 hrs. Depending on the severity of the affected area, physicians prescribe and supervise a set number of treatments over time to obtain the healing results. There are not many contraindications for these treatments. Side effects are usually minor and ear or sinus pressure related, which often is naturally resolved within a few hours after treatment. Health insurance companies often cover the costs of the treatments for a variety of clinical indications.

For this segment, we are joined by guest, Charles Hall, BSN of Hyperbaric Physicians of GA (the largest hyperbaric medicine group in the Southeast) to provide the latest information on hyperbaric medicine. Listeners can find more information at


Dr. David Swhegman

  • Medical Degree from The Ohio State University
  • Residency completed in Emergency Medicine from OSU
  • Former Asst. Professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory
  • Chief Medical Director in private practice at Hyperbaric Physicians of Georgia
  • Named 2011 “Top Doctor in Atlanta” by Atlanta Magazine


Charles Hall

  • BSN from South University
  • 8 yrs experience in surgical/cardiovascular intensive care
  • Joined Hyperbaric Physicians of GA in 2010



Colorectal Cancer

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in the United States. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the US- and it is often preventable! The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 140,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and there will be about 50,000 deaths attributed to this disease. Yet almost 20 million Americans have not been screened (the current screening rate is 65.1%). The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1:20.

Although it is possible for young people to get colon cancer, 9/10 people diagnosed are > 50 yrs old. A large percentage of colon cancers begin as polyps in the lining of the colon. Risk factors include: a history of polpys, a family history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, smoking, and Crohn’s disease. Colonoscopy remains the “gold standard” for colorectal cancer screening, although there are blood tests and lower GI series that can also aid in the diagnosis. Early stage colorectal cancers can have as high as a 95% cure rate. Screening guidelines recommend starting regular screening at age 50 (unless there are risk factors that indicate earlier) and continuing until age 75. Signs and symptoms include: rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits that last longer than a few days, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and unintended weight loss. Treatments depend on the size and location of the tumors. Early stage disease can often be treated with surgical removal only. Late stage disease can include surgery, chemotherapy and at times, radiation.

For this segment, we have asked a local expert, Dr. Marc Sonenshine from Atlanta Gastroenterology Specialists to return during this month focused on screening to provide us with both basic information and updates on Colorectal Cancer. Listeners can find more information at

Dr. Marc Sonenshine

  • Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology
  • MD from Medical College of GA; Residency completed at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Gastroenterology fellowship at Emory University
  • MBA from Terry College of Business at University of GA
  • Volunteers with Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Camp Oasis for kids with IBD
  • Special interest areas: inflammatory bowel disease, prevention of GI malignancy and management of chronic liver disease






What would your life be like if your body craved sleep- as much as 16 hrs per day? Could you work? What would your family life be like? In America, approximately 5% of the population has this problem-hypersomnia. Hypersomnia is a large group of disorders characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) or prolonged nighttime sleep (> 10 hrs/night) over a 3 month period. This condition can have a direct or secondary cause and occurs in men slightly more than women. Symptoms often begin to occur in late teens or early twenties. Hypersomina can be disabling, is poorly understood and the medical understanding of hypersomnia is in its infancy.

There are no known cures for hypersomnia. However, there are treatments (usually medications) that can help the patient to improve their quality of life and have more waking hours. These medications typically fall into three categories: stimulants, non-stimulating, wake –promoting medications and sodium oxybate. The Emory University Sleep Disorders research team has been doing some work using somnogen type medication that appears to influence tha GABA activity. The team also completed a study that examined cerebrospinal fluid in hypersomnia patients which resulted in a breakthrough in determining the cause. The hope is that in the future,with this new information, new rational approaches can be devised for treatments of patients suffering from hypersomnia.

For expertise in this segment, we have tapped Dr. David Rye, and internationally known and respected researcher and leader in this field to lend his expertise and experience to educate listeners and followers about hypersomnia. Listeners can find more information at


Dr. David Rye

  • Medical Degree from University of Chicago
  • Residency in Neurology , University of Chicago Hospital
  • Ph.D in Neurobiology, University of Chicago
  • Board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Internationally recognized researcher in sleep disorders featured in
  • Wall Street Journal, ABC News and CNN