Correspondence

Low-pressure fabric hyperbaric chambers

F Burman

Abstract


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is defined as an intervention in which an individual breathes near 100% oxygen while wholly enclosed inside a hyperbaric chamber at a pressure ≥1.4 atmosphere absolute (ATA). The Southern African Underwater and Hyperbaric Medical Association (SAUHMA)-approved indications commence at pressures ≥2 ATA. Low-pressure hyperbaric chambers, at pressures ≤1.4 ATA, are approved for acute mountain sickness only. Mild hyperbaric exposures with air deliver no more oxygen to the body than breathing oxygen by mask at sea level pressure. Exposure to treatment pressures <2.0 ATA while breathing air does not meet the SAUHMA definition of therapeutic hyperbaric oxygen therapy and does not achieve the minimum pressure and oxygen levels required for any SAUHMA-approved indication. All SAUHMA-approved indications require that the patient breathe near 100% oxygen while enclosed in a chamber pressurised to a minimum of 2 ATA. SAUHMA does not recommend the use of mild hyperbaric therapy for any medical purpose other than acute mountain sickness.


Author's affiliations

F Burman, Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(4):200. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i4.13524

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-03-29
Date published: 2019-03-29

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