Compressed air, and more recently hyperbaric oxygen, have been used and misused in medical treatment for more than 300 years. Advances in physiology have led to rational protocols for hyperbaric oxygen use. Hyperbaric oxygen will enhance wound healing by fibroblast and capillary proliferation, suppress infection, reduce edema, reverse CNS damage from carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, and reduce clostridial alpha toxins. Monoplace and multiplace chambers are used for treatment during which EKG and oxygen tissue monitoring, as well as hemodynamic and respiratory support, can be continued, iatrogenic air embolism and diving decompression sickness demand immediate treatment. Investigative uses of adjunct therapy for several other clinical problems include treatment of MS, acute spinal cord injuries, and acute MI. Specific indications agreed on by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society are recognized by most third-party payers including Medicare, Champus, and HMSA. Hyperbaric medicine remains a fertile area for basic physiologic investigation and outcomes research.

Tabrah, Tanner, Vega, Batkin, , , , , (1994). Baromedicine today–rational uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hawaii medical journal, 1994 Apr;53(4):112-5, 119. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8045777