Plenary Sessions

  • Thursday, June 27

    Controversies in the Hyperbaric Management of Late Radiation Injuries



    Late Radiation Tissue Injury Below the Clavicles: Considerations with IMRT and the Fibroatrophic Model
    John Feldmeier, MD




    Answering the criticism and challenges to HBO2 in the treatment of radiated patients
    Richard Marx, DDS


    9:30-10:00: Panel discussion

    Physiology and Science in Hyperbaric Medicine


    Stem cells and hyperbaric oxygen therapy
    Stephen Thom, MD

    Thom picThe first scientific papers reporting effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on stem cell biology were published just 12 years ago and now they number over 100. This presentation will summarize the latest data on stem cell physiological responses to HBOT. Oxygen acts as a critical regulator of stem cells, and HBOT has a variety of effects on stem cell mobilization dynamics, metabolism, engraftment, and can influence paracrine roles with tissue repair. Some effects appear with the initial HBOT exposure while others develop when repeated hyperoxia-normoxia cycling occurs. Mechanisms and data on clinical utilization will be presented, as well as current questions and future directions.

    About Dr. Thom: Dr. Thom received his MD and PhD (microbial physiology) degrees from the University of Rochester in 1981. He served as professor of emergency medicine and chief of hyperbaric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania for 27 years and in July 2013 took a position at University of Maryland. He is a practicing emergency medicine physician and also carries out research in several areas. He is lead/senior author on over 130 peer reviewed papers and 40 reviews or textbook chapters on oxygen and other gas toxicities. Research interests include the role of stem cells in diabetic wound healing and cell responses to hyperoxia, pathophysiology of decompression sickness, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide (CO). His lab group was the first to describe vasculogenic stem cell mobilization by hyperbaric oxygen therapy and he currently directs projects to assess the role of stem cells in diabetic skin wound healing. He was president of the UHMS from 1996-1998, and chair of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy committee from 1991-1993.  Dr. Thom has been the recipient of the Albert R. Behnke award of the UHMS in 1996 and 2008, the Paul Bert award from UHMS in 2007, the Edgar End award of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the UHMS in 1988, and the C. Longoni award from the Italian Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society in 1998.

    4:30-5:00: Research topics that need to be done for our field
    John Feldmeier, MD
  • Friday, June 28

    DCI Theory & Mechanisms


    Oxygen toxicity: Where are we now?
    Jay Dean, PhD



    Navy dive operations: Lessons learned about planning, DCS prevention and treatment
    Pete Witucki, MD



    Wearable diving technology
    John Florian, PhD


    Altitude Decompression Sickness


    Combating flier’s “bends” during unpressurized flight and explosive decompression in World War II
    Jay Dean. PhD

    DEANDr. Dean will summarize the early years of DCS research as follows: begin with Harry Armstrong at Wright Field (1935ff); first O2 masks and development of oxygen prebreathe method to prevent DCS at altitude (OPB: Walter Boothby and Randy Lovelace at the Mayo Clinic and Lockheed Aircraft Co., 1938-40); collaborative high-altitude research w/OPB at Wright Field & Mayo Aero Medical Unit with Lockheed and Boeing Aircraft Companies (1940-45—incidentally, the USAAF Aero Med Lab’s high altitude research B-17E Flying Fortress was named “the Nemesis of Aeroembolism;” oversight of DCS research during WWII by Nat’l Res. Council’s SubComm. on DCS (1940-45; Chair, John Fulton, Yale U.);  Dr. Fred Hitchcock’s research on explosive decompression and risk for DCS, Ohio State Laboratory of Aviation Physiology, complete with movies (1940-45); incidence of DCS in bomber and fighter aircrews during WW2; and USAAF's conclusions about mitigation of DCS by war's end.

    About Dr. Dean: Professor (with tenure), Dept. of Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology, College of Medicine, Adjunct Professor, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Professor, College of Medicine Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology.


    USAF hypobaric exposures experience
    Marc Robins, DO

    RobinsDr. Robins will speak on DCS altitude current problems faced and U2 case reports recently collected.

    About Dr. Robins: Dr. Robins started his career in medicine working for the Ski Patrol in Southern Oregon at age 19 which soon led to employment as a nurses aide then as a Registered Nurse. Prior to medical school he worked as an RN in the Emergency Department at a level 1 Trauma Center, graduating with his Doctorate in Osteopathy in 1988. Receiving a Health Professions Scholarship to pay for Medical School he did his first Residency in Family Practice at the David Grant USAF Regional Medical Center at Travis AFB, California, and then a second Residency in Aerospace Medicine with Fellowship in Occupational Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health. He was awarded the Malcom Grow Air Force Outstanding Flight Surgeon of the Year Award in 1995, and completed a 20-year career as an Air Force Flight Surgeon. His assignments included European Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and command positions for Fighter Base Aeromedical Squadrons and the High Altitude U2 program in Beale, California, commanding medical services in six major deployments and one Humanitarian Mission. Dr. Robins culminated his career as the US Aerospace Medicine Consultant to the Australian Defence Force Medical Chief (US Surgeon General equivalent), retiring as a Colonel. He attended the NOAA Dive Medical course in 2010 and maintains an avid interest in recreational scuba diving, certifying in 2003. He is a pilot, enjoys skiing, mountain biking, motorcycle riding and rock climbing.

  • Saturday, June 29

    The Regulatory And Reimbursement Challenges Facing Nations And How These Have Been Addressed


    Ken LeDez, MD



    United Kingdom
    Pieter Bothma, MD



    United States
    Caroline Fife, MD



    Michael Bennett, MD



    Panel discussion





    HBO2 and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Update
    Jay Buckey, MD


    This talk will cover new developments in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease with hyperbaric oxygen. Inflammatory bowel disease involves both hypoxia and inflammation, and hyperbaric oxygen can have effects on both of those factors. Also, hyperbaric oxygen can affect the microbiome, which is another potential mechanism for HBO2’s effects in IBD.

    About Dr. Buckey:  Jay C. Buckey, MD is a Professor of Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the medical director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. 


    Thai dive rescue
    Richard Walker, MD


    Topics in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine


    Top articles in HBO2
    Fellow (TDB)



    Top articles in Undersea Medicine
    Fellow (TDB)