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HOLLT is an international multi-centre, randomised controlled trial which aims to assess the benefit of providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) during the acute stages of management of severe lower leg injuries, as an adjunct to normal trauma care. It is being conducted by an international network of trauma centres with hyperbaric treatment facilities that are suitable for treating severely injured patients. The HOLLT Study Coordinating Centre is within the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

The study design is based upon a pilot study previously undertaken by The Alfred Hyperbaric Service which is located on the same campus. Patients who have suffered an open fracture of the tibia with severe soft tissue injury are enrolled within 48 hours of injury to receive either normal orthopaedic trauma care or normal care with the addition of an intensive, week long course of hyperbaric oxygen. Enrolments commenced in Melbourne in 2007 and a range of collaborating sites have since joined the study. The study aims to enrol its target of 120 subjects by sometime in 2013 and each subject will be followed up for two years minimum. Although the study started slowly, it is now progressing steadily towards completion.

The HOLLT study initially received research grant funding from Victoria's Transport Accident Commission and subsequently was awarded a Project Grant by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council for five years of funding to cover the costs of operation of the research coordination centre. This is a collaborative, investigator led study; however most of the costs of enrolling patients at each study site are dependent upon collaborators having local resources or achieving local funding to enable participation. All the investigators are indebted to their institutions for the support provided to conduct clinical research in addition to their normal hyperbaric unit operations.

It is hoped that the collaboration formed to enable this study will provide the basis for further studies in the future. At this stage, further collaborators could still be integrated into the research group if suitably equipped and experienced.

Dr Ian Millar
Principal Investigator
February, 2012

Patients receiving Hyperbaric Treatment

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