Ten years ago, I emailed a prominent lung specialist with my suggestion for a treatment for Tuberculosis. His lack of response led me to believe that the idea had no merit whatsoever – but I had no idea what the failings might be. I still don’t and I’m hoping someone will enlighten me as to why this is not worth exploring.
The idea is based upon the fact that Mycobacterium Tuberculosis is aerobic – in fact Wikipedia states it “requires high levels of oxygen”. I’d heard that the TB “Sanatoriums” used to practice the treatment of breaking ribs on one side to collapse that lung and “rest” it. It seemed to me that this resting was actually starving the bacterium of Oxygen and killing the infestation.
My suggestion is that we take advantage of having two lungs by inserting a pair of breathing tubes into the respiratory tract and into the head of the two bronchi: it may be necessary to use ultrasound or other imaging to accurately position the tubes.
We feed pure Nitrogen into one tube, and 40/60 Oxygen/Nitrogen into the other – double Oxygen concentration. The patient therefore receives all their Oxygen requirements through one lung. After some period of time, when we judge that the bacteria in the “starved” lung are all dead, we switch the supplies to the 2 tubes and treat the other lung.
Can anyone see why this idea is so flawed?