The hyperbaric chamber or decompression chamber is a sealed steel cylinder, in which several people can be exposed to a pressure above atmospheric pressure (up to 2.5 bar, and sometimes more). This medical-technical instalation, overseen from outside the box by an operator, increases tissue oxygenation.
The decompression chambers are used in private hospitals, military hospitals, diving centers ... They are used to treat various diseases (CO2 intoxication, air embolism) and decompression sickness. Patients are locked in this pressurized environment, to receive extra oxygen from an inhaler. For divers, the pressure increase reduces the size of the gas bubbles in the body, and the massive influx of oxygen facilitates their evacuation. The oxygen level mustn’t exceed 23.5%. The treatment includes three steps : compression, background pressure and decompression. Some chambers, thanks to their size, are transportable by boat or truck. The smallest can only take in one patient, other have a capacity of twenty people.
The box, made of steel, provided with portholes, is equipped with one or many entrances. An airlock allows the personnel to intervene immediately in case of problem. A cockpit, outside, allows to control the internal pressure, and to watch over the patients during the treatment.
To prevent fires, electrical appliances are prohibited in the cabinet, any electrical appliances, items that can produce a spark, or airtight objects such as Tupperware boxes.