Murphy Introduces Legislation to Provide Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Veterans

May 24, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D. introduced the Veterans’ National Traumatic Injury Treatment Act. This bipartisan bill would establish a pilot program at the Department of Veterans Affairs to furnish hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

HBOT treats patients who enter a special chamber to breathe in pure oxygen in air pressure levels 1.5 to 3 times higher than average. It fills the blood with enough oxygen to repair brain tissue and restore normal body function.

“Every day an average of 18 veterans commits suicide. We cannot accept this and must acknowledge that not all treatments work,” said Rep. Greg Murphy. “When all other remedies for PTSD or TBI do not make a difference, the federal government has a responsibility to deliver an alternative option to our veterans. HBOT is that alternative. My legislation provides a commonsense solution and ensures veterans have every chance to regain a normal life.”

“It is our duty in Congress to provide the men and women who served our great nation with access to the best healthcare available,” said Rep. Jen Kiggans. “Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are two of the most devastating – and most common – challenges that my fellow veterans face. I’m hopeful that by establishing a VA hyperbaric oxygen therapy pilot program, we will save and improve the lives of our nation’s heroes. I’m proud to join my colleagues to support this critically important measure!”

“In gratitude to our veterans and their families for service to our country, I was glad to work alongside Dr. Murphy to introduce legislation expanding hyperbaric oxygen treatment in the North Carolina General Assembly. There have been good results, and I look forward to continuing this essential work in the United States Congress,” said Rep. Don Davis. “For the veterans who live with PTSD or TBI, we must do all we can to ensure they have access to more treatment options. After all, this is the least we can do for our veterans, who have fought hard to defend our freedoms.”

“Vietnam Veterans of America supports the Veterans National Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act, sponsored by Congressman Murphy, [which] calls for the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a five-year pilot program for hyperbaric oxygen therapy ‘for our most medically vulnerable Veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder for their optimal health and well-being,’” said Dr. Thomas Hall, PhD, Chair of the VVA’s PTSD/Substance Abuse Committee.

“AMVETS believes in granting our veterans additional opportunities to access treatments that could alleviate their service-related conditions,” said Joseph Chenelly, Executive Director of AMVETS. “On behalf of AMVETS, we are proud to support Rep. Murphy’s legislation that would expand and provide veterans the opportunity to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatment.”

“Congressman Murphy, M.D. has been instrumental in bringing modern medicine to brain-wounded Veterans,” said Robert L. Beckman, PhD, Co-founder of TreatNow Coalition. “It started in North Carolina, where his bill to use HBOT to treat NC Veterans has resulted in dozens of veterans being provided HBOT treatment. Nine other states have passed similar legislation. This bill will reinforce the results of 20 peer-reviewed scientific studies, all of which show the safety and efficacy of using HBOT to bring brain-wounded TBI/PTSD victims back to a quality of life denied them with antiquated protocols in the VA/DoD/Services. Furthermore, HBOT has been shown to be a suicide preventative, in effect a cure for the suicide epidemic afflicting service members.”

You can read the full bill text here.


Studies demonstrate that HBOT is an effective treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI. Authors of one such study described HBOT as having “one of the greatest reductions in PTSD symptoms in a four-week period with any reported treatment.”

Despite its proven efficacy and requests by Members of Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs currently does not employ HBOT.

Rep. Murphy previously introduced the Veterans’ National Traumatic Injury Treatment Act in the 116th and 117th Congresses and advocated for the use of HBOT while in the North Carolina State Legislature. This legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA), Jennifer Kiggans (R-VA), and Don Davis (D-NC).

The Veterans’ National Traumatic Injury Treatment Act is supported byVietnam Veterans of America, AMVETS, the Fleet Reserve Association,Military-Veterans Advocacyand TreatNOW.

Vice Chairman of the Board of Military-Veterans Advocacy, Sergeant Major Jim Kuiken, also wrote in support of the bill, personally crediting HBOT as a “life-changing” treatment.

Rep. Murphy also penned an op-ed on HBOT in 2020, which you may read here

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