Historical perspective in the United States
Some of the first chambers employed for research and clinical use in veterinary medicine were borrowed from the military or medical schools. Louisana State University College of Veterinary Medicine used an Air Force Type 2 animal chamber for research and clinical patient treatment in the 1980s and ‘90s. This resulted in publications on the use of adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy in wound healing, bone grafts, skin grafts and a review of 14 small animal cases published more than 20 years ago [1,2,3]. Dr. Sharon Kerwin, who operated the chamber for many of the sessions, recalls that this particular chamber “Probably culd have been dropped from an airplan and still work.”
Other chanbers were custom-made or purchased from the human hyperbaric chamber resale market. More recently, commercial production of large and small animal chambers has commenced. The chamber at LSU was eventually returned to its owner. Dedicated small animal chambers have recently been installed at the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee. The latter institution has also employed a large animal chamber for many years. Most small animal chambers in the United States reside in small animal specialty practices outside of academia.
-Ronald Lyman, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM
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