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Monthly Briefing May 2024

A little bit of hyperbaric medicine’s history has recently been re-written. It has long been assumed that the first alteration in atmospheric pressure for therapeutic purposes occurred during the 17th century, under the direction of the English physician Nathanial Henshaw. He is said to have had constructed a chamber capable of hyper- and hypobaric pressures in which he treated several acute and chronic conditions, respectively.  It was also said that those in good health might optimize their well-being by occasional visits to his chamber. This belief has been handed down over the ages without thoughtful analysis of its veracity.

In a recently published paper (May 2024) I conclude that his “Domicile” was nothing more than a proposal and argue the impracticality of such construction in that era. The paper is attached below. Those who speak on hyperbaric medicine’s history and agree with me will need to edit their presentations accordingly.

Dick Clarke, President

National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology


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Updated April 1, 2024