The Board’s commitment to provision of safe and effective diving and hyperbaric medicine operations extends to auditing all new applications for course approval. Board members regularly volunteer their time without compensation or expectation to ensure that faculty members for these courses possess requisite knowledge and teaching skills and that educational materials are appropriate and reflective of current standards. The recent advent of virtual teaching via Zoom-like platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic has added to this audit case load as previously approved face to face programs require spot checks to address adequacy in this new format. I’m actually helping with one of these as I write this month’s Briefing.
But these audits do have their lighter side and the good Dr. Henshaw frequently features. You will likely recall that it was he who first proposed an alteration in atmospheric pressure for therapeutic purposes, in his 1664 publication “Aero-Chalimos or, a Register for the Airs”. In one well-intended lecture referencing this pioneering concept, there is an accompanying photograph of Dr. Henshaw looking everything the respectable academic. The issue here was that he had died a little more than 150 years prior to the first photograph being taken, circa 1826. On another occasion, an artist’s impression of Henshaw’s “Domicilium” is included on the slide. What is actually depicted is Fontaine’s mobile (horse drawn) hyperbaric operating room, again developed more than 150 years later. Although Henshaw described his chamber/Domicilium he did not include any image in his publication, so readers are left to conceptualize what it may have looked like from its detailed operating characteristics. During one other talk, Henshaw is glowingly referenced as the father of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nowhere in Henshaw’s publication is oxygen referenced. This is hardly surprising as it would be another 100 years before the gas that would eventually be called oxygen was discovered. One presenter’s slide referenced Dr. Hank Henshaw. His mother may have been somewhat distressed to learn that her dear son Nathaniel had had his name so contracted.
To conclude from my Monthly Briefing soapbox, I would now wager that despite long-standing dogma, Henshaw was not the first to use a hyperbaric chamber. There were just too many flaws in his proposed design and operating principals. But that is a story for another day.
Dick Clarke, President
National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology
Copyright © 2020. National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology. All rights reserved.
NBDHMT · 9 Medical Park, Suite 440 · Columbia, South Carolina 29203, USA · 803.434.7802
The National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under the United States of America Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) to ensure that the practice of diving medicine and hyperbaric oxygen therapy is supported by appropriately qualified technologists and nurses, through respective certification pathways. Funding is generated solely through certification fees and sales of Board merchandise. The National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology does not host or receive funding from advertisers or any other forms of business.
The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between visitors to this site and health care professionals.Any information collected by this site, such as e-mail address, will never be passed on to any third party, unless required by law.
Google Analytics is a webmaster tool used to determine the devices used to access this website so the content can be properly coded to serve phones, tablets or desktops. It is also used to determine the number of visitors to assess load on the server. It is used soley for this purpose and not configured in any way to track or individually identify the visitors themselves and should not concern the visitor in any way.
Updated November 10, 2020