The Hyperbaric Chamber: Science, Not Miracle

Nina Subbotina. MD, Ph.D, specialist in hyperbaric medicine. She is the author of the first scientific book about this specialty written in Spanish: Medicina Hiperbárica. See more about Dr. Subbotina.

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The Hyprbaric Chamber: Science, Not Miracle, is a comprehensible exposition readily accessible to the general reader, of the principal applications of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, its technique, and its results.

Oxygen and the Hyperbaric Chamber
• Chronic Wounds or Nonhealing Ulcers
• Diabetic Foot Ulcer
• Gas Gangrene and Others Infections
• Severe Trauma
• República de Cromagnon’s Tragedy:
  Smoke and Toxic Gases
• Radiation Necrosis
• Aseptic Bone Necrosis
• Sudden Deafness and Acoustic Trauma
• Neurological Disorders
• Children with Autism
• Cerebral Palsy
• Contraindications, Side Effects
  and Complications
• Anti-Aging



The hyperbaric chamber became popular in the first half of the twentieth century because of its efficacy in treating decompression sickness, a life-threatening complication in divers.

During the second half of the twentieth century hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) was studied and applied to many medical conditions, including gas gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning, radiation necrosis, thermal burns, diabetic foot ulcers, and crush injury. Nowadays there are some authors who also report the efficacy of the hyperbaric chamber in treating Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, alcohol abuse, and a number of other illnesses.

This volume (as also with Medicina Hiperbárica, Subbotina’s book for physicians, written in Spanish), describes those pathologies whose treatment with hyperbaric oxygen has been endorsed by evidence-based medicine. Evidence-based medicine aims to apply the best available evidence gained from the scientific method to clinical decision making for the individual patient. Thus, this book reflects the current state of knowledge in hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Because of the broad use of HBOT in cerebral palsy and autism, the author also explains what is known about the efficacy of treatment of these disorders.

The physical and biological principles of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are simple and well studied. To keep us alive our circulatory system is carrying oxygen from the lungs to each cell in our bodies. The hyperbaric chamber allows this to be done more efficiently on the basis of the laws of physics: under pressure gases are more soluble in liquids. The liquids involved here are blood or plasma, and the gas to be dissolved is oxygen, inhaled inside the hyperbaric chamber, directly or by mask. With more oxygen in blood, cells that suffer from lack of it, in most cases due to circulatory problems, acquire the opportunity to recover enabling healing.

The best proof of the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the reimbursement by medical insurance companies of this treatment that is accepted in many countries. It is cost effective, the patients are cured, the programmed amputation are prevented, and total expenditure for their health care is diminished. In the United States, particularly, HBOT is officially recognized as a treatment for 13 different pathologies.

That hyperbaric medicine occupies a well-deserved place in the modern health sciences is demonstrated by the more than eight thousand hyperbaric chambers being used worldwide, the dozens of professional associations devoted to this specialty, the continuing fundamental and clinical research being done in this field, the many new journal publications and books available on this topic, and, most importantly, the multitude of patients healed with this noninvasive, painless therapy.

This book describes in a simple and accessible manner the main benefits of hyperbaric oxygen treatment. We hope that it will familiarize readers with new avenues for treatment and will inspire them to consult their physicians about this promising treatment.

Others books by Dr. Subbotina:

Medicina Hiperbárica

Лечение в барокамере

La Cámara Hiperbárica

Pie diabético en riesgo (co-author)

La cámara hiperberica en patologías abdominales

Key words:

• stroke
• sudden deafness
• compromised skin grafts
• crush injury
• mucormycosis
• post traumatic cerebral edema
• anti-aging
• refractory osteomyelitis
• compromized skin flaps
• aspergylosis
• decompression sickness
• acoustic trauma
• firearm wounds
• delayed radiation injury
• carbon monoxide poisoning
• actinomycosis
• delayed neurologic syndrome after CO poisoning


• aseptic bone necrosis
• smoke inhalation injury
• air or gas embolism
• compartment syndrome
• dysbaric diving accident
• cerebral palsy
• intracranial abscess
• diabetic foot ulcer
• carbon monoxide poisoning complicated by cyanide poisoning
• thermal burns
• gas gangrene
• problem wounds
• necrotizing soft tissue infection
• exceptional blod loss (anemia)
• trench foot
• local cold injury
• tinnitus
• migraine
• autism