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September 4, 1981

Some skeptics become oxygen therapy 'converts'

JAMA. 1981;246(10):1066. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320100012005

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In many ways, George B. Hart, MD, personifies the comeback of hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) therapy.

Hart, a retired US Navy captain, is a chest surgeon and director of the baromedical department at Memorial Hospital Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif.

The 848-bed center has hosted conferences on clinical applications of HBO for the last six years.

"You can consider me a convert to HBO," Hart says. "If it had not been for the war in southeast Asia, I would have continued to be one of the extreme skeptics about HBO."

What changed Hart's viewpoint? "A young Marine, wounded by a rocket that exploded in his tank in Vietnam, was brought to the Naval Regional Medical Center here in Long Beach [where Hart was chief of surgery from 1967 to 1975]. He required 155 units of replacement blood. In nine months, his weight dropped from 75 kg to 39 kg, and osteomyelitis