Hyperbaric medicine is an area of medicine which studies the implications of the human body’s exposure to increased barometric pressure. The physiological changes and illnesses which may occur as a result of these changes and the treatment of these illnesses are covered by a practitioner of hyperbaric medicine. The term hyperbaric is self explanatory: hyper donates high and baric denoting pressure.
The practice of “Hyperbaric Medicine” covers three broad areas:
Clinical Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a form of treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen while inside a special treatment chamber where the ambient pressure is higher than normal atmospheric pressure. This is useful for the treatment of medical illnesses such as gas gangrene, traumatic ischemia, and diabetic wound and many others
Diving Medicine: An occupational part of hyperbaric Medicine wherein they provide medical support (prevention and treatment of diving illnesses) to recreational and professional diving and related activities which expose healthy workers to high barometric pressures under water
Compressed air works: Also an occupational health component of hyperbaric medicine by providing technical and medical support to operations involving work under high atmospheric pressure like underground mining, metro-rail projects, deep sea mining etc.
While a Hyperbaric Medicine specialist is trained in all the above areas he could be practicing any or all the above during his years and will be expected to provide expertise in all areas.