April 9, 1973

Hyperbaric Medicine in the US Air Force

Author Affiliations

From the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB (Cols Davis and Dunn and Maj Bassett) and the Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Tex (Col Hagood).

JAMA. 1973;224(2):205-209. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220150019005

The US Air Force hyperbaric chambers are used for treatment of the four disorders generally accepted as amenable to recompression or hyperbaric oxygenation. Ninety-four patients suffering from decompression sickness, air embolism, carbon monoxide intoxication, or gas gangrene have been treated. Forty-seven were military patients or their dependents, and 47 were civilians. The USAF series of 23 patients with surgically, bacteriologically proved spreading, diffuse clostridial myonecrosis brings the literature total of proved cases in patients treated with hyperbaric oxygenation during the past 11 years to 267. Recognized and treated early with a combined hyperbaric oxygen-débridement-antibiotic and supportive program, survival rates of those with gas gangrene should improve significantly.