A Broad Overview Of Portable Hyperbaric Chambers

Portable Hyperbaric Chambers are mere modifications of the original GAMOW BAG that was designed to give relief to climbers suffering from altitude sickness. It was invented by Dr. Igor Gamow, a professor at the University of Colorado.

While the pressure in the original Gamow bag could be increased by using a foot-pump, modern-day soft hyperbaric chambers have air compressors and air brushes to do the job.

These miniature chambers are non-lubricated, thereby minimizing the risks of explosion when the oxygen and oil tend to get mixed together. However, any modifications or obstructions in the port of the pressure relief valve can increase the pressure within the bag to dangerous levels, even causing it to rupture. Sudden ruptures may lead to explosive decompression of the chamber, causing patients to suffer from tension pneumothorax, a condition that is potentially life threatening.

Other than this, portable hyperbaric models such as the normal Dive, Military Dive and American Dive with measurements of 28"x 7', are recommended as in-home rental options for patients who can undergo treatments in their houses. However, these portable chambers are best not used in clinics. The small size of the chambers often causes much distress to patients who require the presence of a guardian during the ongoing therapy session. Grand Dive portable chambers with measurements of 40"x10' are recommended for clinics to increase the comfort level of the patient and also deliver simultaneous treatments to one or more candidates, even though the entire process becomes costly.

The normal Dive is designed to accommodate a single patient. Although a child can be made to accompany an adult patient, there will be considerable limitations on the mobility and comfort. There are other problems too. Patients undergoing treatment in chambers with a width of 28 inches cannot sit up. It is also a problem to use laptops in these chambers when undertaking the therapy. However, they can use a prop beneath their heads and raise it in order to use iPods. The situation is even more difficult in Shallow chambers that have a width of 23 inches. In these chambers, it is difficult to flex the shoulders and keep them in a straight position.

Portable hyperbaric chambers that are designed following the Dive model are capable of being moved with a crane to places where the patient is invalid and totally disabled. However, these chambers have small zips and can be uncomfortable for patients with larger body frames. For the Dive to be lifted, it is necessary to place it on a level platform where the arms of the lift can be securely placed under the chamber. The common way of entering and leaving the chamber is to crawl on one's hands and knees. If the Dive is placed on a hard surface, then it will be a good idea to place a thick mat next to the chamber to minimize the impact when the patient enters or leaves the chamber.