Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology Records, Circa 1961-1989, 1968-2007

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Summary

Creator:
Duke University. Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology.
Abstract:
The Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology is the Southeast's regional referral center for Hyperbaric Medicine. It is a multi-place, critical care-oriented, hyperbaric facility available 24 hours a day. The collection contains lantern slides, 35 mm slides, photographs, negatives, drawings, small artifacts, letters, and clippings. Major subjects include the construction of the lab, the Atlantis dive series, the Apollo missions, and collaboration with the Navy. Materials range in date from 1961 to 2007.
Extent:
3.76 Linear feet (1 carton, 3 lantern slide boxes, 1 half-manuscript box, 1 flat box folder) and 125 MB
Collection ID:
AR.0186

Background

Scope and content:

Contains materials related to the Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology's clinical treatments and pressure tests. Types of materials include lantern slides, 35 mm slides, photographs, negatives, drawings, letters, clippings, CDs, and a small amount of artifacts and artwork. Major subjects include the construction of the lab, the Atlantis dive series, the Apollo 11 mission, and collaboration with the Navy. Materials range in date from 1961 to 2007.

Biographical / historical:

The initial chamber for Hypo-Hyperbaric research was installed at Duke in 1963. During the years between 1963 and 1968, major investigational activity was directed toward descriptive studies of the effects of hyperbaric oxygen. Oxygen toxicity, problems of oxygen transport through defective macro and micro circulations, physiological effects of hyperoxia upon intact organisms and specific body organs, relevant pathological studies, and biochemical investigations at the cellular level were the major concerns. These pioneering studies resulted primarily in better definition of processes that limited the therapeutic exploitation of hyperbaric oxygen. Many of the basic biochemical and pharmacological mechanisms of action of oxygen, however, remain under investigation.

Construction of the F. G. Hall Laboratory-now part of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology (named after Frank Gregory Hall) was completed in 1968. Six large chambers were installed which gave capacity to simulate depths of 1000 feet of seawater (fsw) and up to 100,000 feet of altitude. Dr. Herbert Saltzman was named Director of the Laboratory. Under his direction, program investigators emphasized studies of cardiopulmonary, hematologic and neurologic consequences of exposure to substantially high or low atmospheric pressure. The increase and decrease of atmospheric pressures, in association with specialized breathing gases as forcing functions, were used to address such diverse questions as the effects of inert gases on ventilatory control, psychomotor effects of greatly increased atmospheric pressure on man, consequences of immersion and simulated altitude on gas exchange in humans, and the effects of gas density and atmospheric pressure on ventilatory control and gas exchange. Basic questions have also been investigated concerning the membrane effects of inert gases and anesthetic mechanisms. Extensive applied studies aimed at understanding clearance of gases from body tissues during decompression from depth and to altitude also have been noteworthy.

In 1978, two additional chambers were installed to extend the range of studies involving increased pressure. These chambers permit both human and animal studies at simulated depths up to 3600 fsw. Four deep manned dives (up to 69.5 ATA) were conducted in these chambers between 1978 and 1984 (Atlantis dive series) under the directorship of Dr. Peter B. Bennett and Dr. Richard Moon. In 1986, the F. G. Hall Laboratory became a University Center, and, in 1990, Dr. Claude A. Piantadosi became the Director. In 1998, the facility was designated the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology.

Today, the Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology is the Southeast's regional referral center for Hyperbaric Medicine. It is a multi-place, critical care-oriented, hyperbaric facility available 24 hours a day. The center faculty are comprised of the physicians and staff of Duke Dive Medicine, a medical practice specializing in the physiology of human exposure to extreme environments. The facility is internationally recognized for its research in the areas of carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, oxygen toxicity, the adverse effects of radiation, and is the advisory center for DiveAssure. The Center also serves as the backup facility in the area for the treatment of diving injuries for the United States Armed Forces, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and local police, fire, and rescue agencies.

Overall, more than 1000 scientific publications have come from the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology since 1963. This research represents a truly interdisciplinary approach involving scientists from the Departments of Anesthesiology, Medicine, Physiology, Surgery, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Mechanical Engineering, and the Duke Marine Laboratory. One of the primary goals of today's program is to preserve and strengthen this tradition of interdisciplinary research.

The laboratory also has attracted a wide variety of extramural scientists interested in problems of Environmental Physiology. These collaborative efforts have involved consultative, educational, clinical, and basic science research programs. Investigators regularly visit from internationally recognized environmental centers in Canada, Japan, Norway, Germany, Sweden, and England. From within the United States, research support has come from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, the U.S. Navy, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the Divers Alert Network, and the commercial offshore diving industry. The results of this research are in use today helping to decrease the morbidity and mortality of divers, as well as providing the rationale for clinical treatment of patients with diseases induced by gas bubbles such as decompression sickness and arterial gas embolism. These studies also have provided a scientific foundation for the clinical practice of Hyperbaric Medicine, which has grown within the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology to provide new investigative opportunities in the field. Presently, basic science research support is provided by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to increase understanding of the beneficial and toxic effects of oxygen.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2022.071 (transferred by Francis Turcotte, September 2022), Accession A2023.019 (transferred by Zach Ransom, April 2023)
Processing information:

Processed by Lucy Waldrop: November 2022; updated by Emma Eubank under the supervision of Lucy Waldrop: November 2023.

Arrangement:
Organized into the following series: Apollo Missions, circa 1961-1975; Atlantis Dive Series, circa 1978-1984; Hyperbaric Center, circa 1963-2007.
Rules or conventions:
DACS

Contents

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Restrictions:

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals or IRB approval may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Duke University assumes no responsibility.

Contains Medical Center Administrative records. These include records of the officers of the University, as defined in the Bylaws, the deans of schools and colleges, and departments, institutes, and other offices as designated by the President. For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the director of the office of record and the Medical Center Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist. (Issued by the Office of the Chancellor, December 1, 1975).

Materials in Boxes 3 and 4 are restricted and can only be accessed with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology Records, Duke University Medical Center Archives.