Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is not a new treatment option as physicians have turned to it since the late 1600s. Physicians used it to treat a variety of different medical conditions throughout the years, and they discover new applications all the time. As more and more physicians and researchers learn about HBOT therapy, they find more benefits. HBOT is no longer just a treatment for divers and “the bends.” Research continues in all fields of medicine, spawning the growth and expansion of Hyperbaric Oxygen medicine.
Hyperbaric oxygen is becoming a common treatment option for a variety of conditions. To see if HBOT is right for you, visit HERE today!
The Start of Oxygen Therapy
Oxygen therapy began in 1662 when British physician Nathaniel Henshaw built the first pressurized room to treat pulmonary and digestive conditions. At this point, the use of oxygen therapy stalled until 1788 when they used compressed hyperbaric air in a diving bell for underwater repair. This spawned August Siebe to create the first deep sea diving suit it 1819. The first true hyperbaric tank arrived in 1834, under the direction of Dr. Junod. The Bulletin of the Academy of Medicine reported Dr. Junod’s success with a complete recovery from a variety of medical conditions.
Early HBOT Therapy Shows Promise
In the 1900s, attention turned to oxygen therapy again. French doctors discovered that patients undergoing hyperbaric-assisted surgery recovered with fewer complications. Dr. John S. Haldane studied the effects of compressed oxygen and later developed the dive tables for the Royal Navy. Because of his research, people refer to him as the “Father of Oxygen Therapy.”
In 1918, Dr. Orville Cunningham discovered a difference in mortality rate between flu patients living in higher elevations compared to patients living at lower elevations. In higher elevations, you breathe in less oxygen. This discovery led to many flu patients seeking HBOT treatments, with great success. In 1928, Dr. Cunningham created a 5-story chamber that offered more than 60 rooms designed to treat flu patients. In addition, Harvard Medical School built its first hyperbaric chamber in 1928.
President Kennedy Sparks Increased Interest
Through the years, research continued looking at HBOT treatments, but it wasn’t until the 1960s when public interest hit a high. President Kennedy’s sick infant flew from Otis Air Force Base to Children’s Hospital in Boston, where doctors put him in a hyperbaric chamber to treat what we now call Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or RDS. While they could not save Kennedy’s newborn son, this was the spark the medical community needed to learn from. The use of oxygen therapy sparked funding for research and eventually brought about what is now the modern neonatal intensive care units, or NICU. Now, 95 percent of infants born with RDS survive with medical treatment.
Where HBOT Therapy is Today
As the use of HBOT continues, many physicians and researchers push forward and look at other conditions that HBOT may benefit. Studies show positive results with neurological conditions such as stroke and brain injuries. In many of these cases, HBOT treatment improves the conditions of patients, even with very poor prognoses. Studies into the treatment of conditions such as autism, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer are in the works.
Visit HERE today to find out what conditions we treat with hyperbaric oxygen and HBOT.
For more information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, and how it can help you, call our office today or click HERE to fill out our online form.