History of development of hyperbaric oxygenation in the world

1772. Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Swedish chemist, discovered oxygen, naming it "fire air".
1774. Joseph Priestly, British chemist, repeating the experiments done previously by Scheele, also "discovers" oxygen, but his name has traditionally remained connected with the historical fact of oxygen discovery, although erroneously.
1789. Lavoisier and Seguin describe oxygen toxicity effects.
1796. Beddoes and Watt published the first book on treatment using oxygen.
1878. Paul Bert, "father of modern physiology", scientifically explained oxygen toxicity, recommending the treatment of decompression sickness with normobaric but not with  hyperbaric oxygen.
1895. John Scott Haldane, "father of stage decompression", demonstrated that mice intoxicated with carbon monoxide would not develop symptoms in hyperbaric oxygen environment at 2.0 bars.
1937. Behnke and Shaw used hyperbaric oxygenation for the first time to treat decompression sickness.
1938. The Brazilians Ozorio de Almeida and Costa used hyperbaric oxygen to treat leprosy.
1942. The Americans End and Long used hyperbaric oxygen to treat experimentally induced carbon monoxide intoxication in laboratory animals.
1954. Churchill-Davidson from Great Britain used hyperbaric oxygen to increase radio-sensitivity of malignant tumors.
1956. Dutch surgeon Ite Boerema, father of modern hyperbaric medicine, commenced with heart surgery in a big hyperbaric chamber, which served as an operation room.
1960. Ite Boerema, experimenting on pigs, demonstrated the possibility of life without blood (erythrocytes) under hyperbaric oxygen conditions.
1961. Boerema and Brummelkamp used hyperbaric oxygen successfully to treat gas gangrene. British Smith demonstrated protective effect of hyperbaric oxygenation in cerebral ischemia.
1962. British Illingworth demonstrated the usefulness of hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of arterial occlusion of lower limbs.
1963. First international congress on hyperbaric medicine in Amsterdam.
1965. British Perrins reported about positive effects of hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of osteomyelitis.
1966. American Saltzman showed beneficial effects of hyperbaric oxygen in patients with cerebral insult.
1970. In Czechoslovakia, Boschetty and Cernoch used hyperbaric oxygenation to treat multiple sclerosis.
1971. German Lamm used hyperbaric oxygenation to treat sudden hearing loss. European Underwater and Baromedical Society (EUBS) was founded.
1973. Thurston proved lower mortality rate in the patients with cardiac infarction treated with hyperbaric oxygen.
1970. Expansion of hyperbaric oxygenation begins in Japan and USSR.
1980. Development of hyperbaric oxygenation begins in China.
1983. Dr. Neubauer founded American College of Hyperbaric Medicine.
1986. American Undersea Medical Society becomes Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, practically becoming a world federation.
1987. Swiss Jain introduces HBOT into physical rehabilitation to lower spasticity in patients with hemiplegia after brain insult.
1988. International Society of Hyperbaric Medicine was founded.


Historical development of hyperbaric oxygen treatment in Croatia


1967. In "Bilten", journal of Hospital "Brothers Dr. Sobol" in Rijeka, Prof. Ljubomir Ribaric, MD, PhD, published for the first time in one Croatian medical journal an article about the potential of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT), describing also his experience from the Netherlands and work with famous surgeon Prof. Ite Boerema. Unfortunately, during the years to follow, the city of Rijeka will never get a hyperbaric chamber.

1969. In the Naval Medical Institute in Split, Prof. Stracimir Gosovic, MD, PhD, with co-workers  commenced with the application of HBOT in clinical medicine. During the years to follow, research projects and publications of Split physicians will discover or confirm the efficiency of HBOT in the treatment of: Bell's palsy, Crohn's disease, open angle glaucoma, atherosclerotic disease of blood vessels and acute acoustic injury. Hyperbaric medicine soon became a part of curriculum of residency in naval medicine, provided in the Institute for military doctors.

1991. to 1995 Due to war injuries and after surgery, 200 most severe casualties from the battlefields all over Croatia were successfully treated by HBOT. The experience accumulated has remained the biggest in the world so far. Two-lock, multiplace hyperbaric chamber of the Institute is constantly engaged for the Surgical Clinics, working continuously for 1200 days and nights, that has remained an unprecedented achievement.

1992. At the University of Rijeka School of Medicine, Hasan Kovacevic, MD, later to become the first medical director of OXY, got his PhD Thesis in the field of HBOT entitled "The influence of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on 2nd stage of atherosclerotic disease  of lower leggs".

1993. In journal "Medicina", published in Rijeka, the first "Croatian list of indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy" was published, although at that time not recognized by national health authorities. Many Croatian doctors learned about HBOT for the first time from that article.

1993. At the University of Rijeka School of Medicine, postgraduate studies (MSc) were introduced in the field of "Touristic, maritime and tropical medicine", including topics in diving and hyperbaric medicine. Also, an elective course was introduced for the students of 6th year of medicine in maritime, diving and hyperbaric medicine, which has been a part of the elective curriculum ever since.

1995. The first private mono-place chamber was opened in Split.

1996. The first private medical institution with multi-place hyperbaric chamber, specialized in HBOT was opened (Polyclinic for hyperbaric and occupational medicine). in Pula.

1996. Croatian Maritime, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society of the Croatian Medical Association was founded in July, with 200 members from all medical fields, both preventive and clinical, gathered in subsidiaries in Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Sibenik, Split and Dubrovnik.

1996. The first scientific colloquium entitled "Maritime, undersea and hyperbaric medicine in Croatia: experience and perspectives" was held in September in Split. A small book of proceedings was published.

1998. 1st Croatian congress on maritime, undersea and hyperbaric medicine was held in Split.

1999. A symposium entitled "30 Years of Hyperbaric Oxygenation in Croatia" was held in Split. A book of proceedings entitled "Selected chapters in hyperbaric medicine" was published.

1999. A mono-place chamber was introduced in clinical practice in Clinical Hospital Center in Osijek. Technical, organizational and educational support was provided by OXY.

2001. Working group on hyperbaric oxygenation of the Ministry of Health was founded. Conclusions and recommendations of this group would have to wait for another seven years to be accepted.

2001. 1st Congress of the Alps-Adria Working Community on Maritime, Undersea, and Hyperbaric Medicine was held in Opatija. A book of proceedings was published. Several international authorities joined the faculty. Croatian hyperbaric oxygenation presented itself at the international scene.

2006. 2nd Congress of the Alps-Adria Working Community on Maritime, Undersea, and Hyperbaric Medicine was held in Zadar. A book of proceedings was published.

2008. In July, Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO) published its List of approved indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Since then, HZZO has been recognizing indications for HBOT and covering treatment costs, in accordance with strictly defined criteria.

2010. At the University of Split School of Medicine, thanks to the dedication of Prof. Matko Marusic, MD, PhD, at that time the Dean, selected hyperbaric medicine topics were introduced to the curriculum.

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