Breathing In Some New Info

I forgot to bring my headphones with me today, which meant I had to listen to the standard parade of zany-meets-boring conversations during my commute. Once my ears latch onto a voice, I can’t tune it out. I was stuck hearing a second-hand report on Kelsie’s latest boy troubles for the first half hour, so I was actually relieved when that was replaced by a guy carrying on about hyperbaric chambers over the phone.

What’s a hyperbaric chamber? That’s officially a question I can answer, as of today’s eavesdropping session. If I’ve understood correctly, it’s a medical device involving a full-body immersion chamber containing air with a higher oxygen concentration than normal. I’m not 100 percent clear on what it’s for, but I’m assuming it’s used to treat conditions involving reduced oxygen flow – like, gangrene and whatnot. Can anyone speak to this? Does anyone out there have experience with hyperbaric medicine? Melbourne readers in particular: hit me with what you know.

Well, anyway, this guy was saying that his mother was receiving hyperbaric treatment for a diabetic wound, and he seemed to think that it had worked absolute wonders where other treatments had not. It seems he’d investigated the topic at length. I can’t remember everything he said but one thing that stood out to me was the bit about being able to buy portable hyperbaric chambers in Australia. From what he was saying, you can order these online and set them up in your house, and it’s not considered dangerous or anything.

Although I don’t have any immediate application for this information, I’m always intrigued to hear about technologies that are news to me. It usually sparks a train of follow-up research that leads me to a new way of seeing the world. In this case, I’ve gotten to thinking about how the chemical makeup of the air we breathe, in terms of its pressure and the relative concentrations of its elements, affects our bodies’ systems.