Hyperbaric chambers have a long and fascinating history that spans back to the early 17th century. The earliest known use of a diving bell was by a Dutch physicist and inventor named Cornelius Drebbel, who built one in 1620 to demonstrate the principles of air pressure to King James I of England.
The first documented use of hyperbaric therapy came before the discovery of oxygen.
In 1662, a British clergyman named Henshaw used a system of organ bellows to change the atmospheric pressure in a sealed chamber called a domicilium. This domicilium could create both hyperbaric and hypobaric (characterised by less than normal pressure) environments.
Nearly two centuries later, in the 1830s, there was a rebirth of interest in hyperbaric medicine in France. In 1834, French physician Junod built a hyperbaric chamber to treat pulmonary afflictions using pressures of 2-4 ATA and reported increased circulation to the internal organs, improvements in cerebral blood flow, and the production of feelings of well-being.
In 1878, Paul Bert, a French physiologist, discovered the link between decompression sickness and nitrogen bubbles. Bert later identified that the pain could be improved with recompression.
The concept of treating patients under pressurised conditions was continued by the French surgeon Fontaine, who later built a pressurised mobile operating room in 1879. Fontaine found that inhaled nitrous oxide had a greater potency under pressure, in addition to his patients having improved oxygenation.
In the decades that followed, hyperbaric chambers were developed by the military in the 1940s to treat deep-sea divers who suffered from decompression sickness.
In the 1950s, physicians first employed hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) during heart and lung surgery. In the 1960s, HBOT was introduced to increase the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and promote healing.
This treatment is now widely used in hospitals and clinics around the world.
With our innovative design, you can offer clients treatment to help with a range of conditions and support wellbeing.
The modern hyperbaric chamber, which our designs follow, is a sealed chamber that is pressurised with pure oxygen. The pressure inside the chamber is typically two to three times higher than the normal atmospheric pressure, which allows the lungs to take in more oxygen, roughly 5 times more, than they would at normal pressure. This increased oxygen supply can help to promote the healing of damaged tissues, fight infection, and reduce inflammation.
HBOT is a safe, non-invasive treatment that has been extensively studied and proven to be effective. At O2Worx we believe in the power of oxygen to drive meaningful, and often life changing results.
Hyperbaric chambers have come a long way since the days of Drebbel, Henshaw, Bert and Fontaine. With the continued advancements in technology and research, it is likely that the list of conditions that can be treated with HBOT will continue to grow.
With an O2Worx chamber, you and your clients can experience the transformative power of oxygen.