Center for Hyperbaric Medicine: Research and Education

The professional team of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine is committed to the safe practice and advancement of knowledge in undersea and hyperbaric medicine, to the education of medical providers of all disciplines that see patients with conditions which may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and to informing the public when recognition of emergent conditions and knowledge of resources can enhance personal and public health.

Hyperbaric Chamber Patient Sitting with Mask, Nurse Standing Photo

To that end, our team members publish peer-reviewed journal articles, work with the health care media for public education purposes, give presentations to health care providers, and conduct independent and collaborative research in undersea and hyperbaric medicine. Links are provided below for each of these activities.

Current research projects

Prospective Observational Study of Healing in Radiation Injured Head and Neck Cancer Patients Treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen. This is an ongoing study looking for correlates of good and poor outcome among such variables as radiation dose, years since radiation, age, co-morbid conditions, compliance, and smoking.

Prevalence of Occult and Recognized Hypothyroidism in Head and Neck Radiation Patients. This is an ongoing observational study born of the informal observation that many patients referred to our service for hyperbaric treatment were hypothyroid and untreated for this condition.

Incidence and Etiology of Seizures During Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment. Seizures can occur during hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Etiologies include the underlying condition being treated, CNS oxygen toxicity, diabetic hypoglycemia, chronic seizure disorder, and possibly CNS reperfusion. This study seeks to determine the overall incidence and relative frequency of each etiology in this practice.

Hyperbaric Chamber Tech Next to Pipes Photo

Prospective Observational Study of Carbon Monoxide Poisoned Patients. Because of cold winters, Minnesota has one of the highest rates of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the nation. The sickest of these patients have been treated in our chamber for decades. We have data on more than 600 patients with moderate to severe CO poisoning.

Long Term Mortality Rates in Patients Suffering Moderate to Severe Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. We have previously published data identifying increased risk of death in people with moderate to severe carbon monoxide poisoning having markers of cardiac injury at the time of poisoning. We are following up on this with a new cohort of patients seeking to refine our understanding of this phenomenon.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Acute Traumatic Brain Injury.
Dr. Gaylan Rockswold is applying for NINDS funding for a multicenter, randomized, prospective clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of severe traumatic brain injury. This study will be a clinical outcomes trial, based on the promising results of prior research at HCMC.

Presentations to health care providers

Hyperbaric Chamber Portal View of Patient and Nurse Photo

Members of our professional team are available on request to give presentations on topics such as the following:Physics and Physiology of the Hyperbaric Environment; Emergency Uses of Hyperbaric Oxygen; Hyperbaric Oxygen and Diabetic Limb Salvage; Radiation Injury Treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen; The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen in Compromised Grafts and Flaps; The Problem Wound; Diagnosis and Treatment of the Injured Sport Diver; Preparation of the Patient for Hyperbaric Treatment.