Acronyms used in Hyperbaric Medicine
ANSI American National Standards Institute
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ATA Atmosphere Absolute, a measure of hyperbaric pressure
BID Twice per day
FDA Food and Drug Administration
HBOT Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
PSI Pounds per square inch
PSIG Pounds per square inch guage
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PVHO Pressure Vessel for Human Occupancy
SCFM Standard cubic feet per minute – the volumetric flow rate of a gas corrected to “standardized” conditions of temperature and pressure, making it the equivalent of the mass flow rate of the gas
TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
TCOM Transcutaneous Oxygen Measurement – measures oxygen level of tissue beneath the skin


Glossary of Terms used in Hyperbaric Medicine
abscess a collection of pus that has built up within the tissue of the body
actinomycosis an infectious bacterial disease caused by Actinomyces species such as Actinomyces israelii or A. gerencseriae
acute a disease with a rapid onset and/or a short course
adjunct a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part
aerobic requires oxygen
alkylating agents promote a chemical reaction inside the body’s cells, at the very DNA inside the nucleus
allogenic taken from different individuals
aminoglycoside a medicinal and bacteriologic category of traditional Gram-negative antibacterial therapeutic agents that inhibit protein synthesis and contain as a portion of the molecule an amino-modified glycoside (sugar)
amputation the removal of a body extremity by trauma, prolonged constriction, or surgery
anaerobic living without air
anecdotal evidence a written or verbal account of an observed response not yet confirmed by a full scientific study
anemia a decrease in the amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood
angeogenisis formation of new blood vessels
antagonist a substance that interferes with or inhibits the physiological action of another
antifungal medication used to kill or inactivate fungi and are used to treat fungal infections
arrhythmia irregular heartbeat
arteriopathy any disease of an artery
arteriosclerosis the thickening, hardening and loss of elasticity of the walls of arteries
aseptic osteonecrosis a bone condition that results from poor blood supply to an area of bone, causing localized bone death
asphyxia a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from abnormal breathing
asymptomactic producing or showing no symptoms
atrophy waste away, typically due to the degeneration of cells, or become vestigial during evolution
autoimmune an immune response by the body against one of its own tissues, cells, or molecules
bactericide substance that kills bacteria
botulism a rare and potentially fatal paralytic illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum
bradycardia resting heart rate of under 60 beats per minute
bullae fluid-filled sacs or lesions that appear when fluid is trapped under a thin layer of the skin
carbon dioxide
a simple gas composed of carbon and oxygen and is exhaled in the breath of all air-breathing land animals including humans
carbon monoxide
a toxic colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air
carboxyhemoglobin COHb hemoglobin that has carbon monoxide instead of the normal oxygen bound to it
carcinoma a cancer that originates in tissue that lines the inner or outer surfaces of the body
cardiosclerosis decompensation cardiac insufficiency after heart surgery
cavitation the formation of cavities in a body tissue or an organ, especially those cavities that form in the lung as a result of tuberculosis
central serous retinopathy an eye disease which causes visual impairment, often temporary, usually in one eye
cerebrovascular a group of brain dysfunctions related to disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
cervical spondylopathy broad term which refers to the age-related wear and tear process affecting the spinal joints and discs in the neck
chemotherapy a category of cancer treatment that uses toxic chemical substances to destroy cells
chilblain tissue damage that occurs when a predisposed individual is exposed to cold and humidity
cirrhosis late stage of scarring of the liver
clostridial infection any of several infectious conditions in animals and humans resulting from Clostridium species, bacteria that are found in soil and that enter the body
debride to remove dead, contaminated, or adherent tissue and/or foreign material
diabetes mellitus a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period
dissementated mucormycosis widely spread fungal infection that largely affects immunocompromised individuals
duodenal ulcer ulcer in the lining of the duodenum which is the first section of the small intestine
dysfunction abnormality or impairment in the function of a specified bodily organ or system
dystrophy the degeneration of tissue, due to disease or malnutrition
eclampsia toxemia in pregnancy, characterized by hypertension (high blood pressure) and seizures (convulsions)
edema swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues
embolism the lodging of an embolus, which may be a blood clot, a fat globule or a gas bubble, in the bloodstream
encephalitis an acute infection and inflammation of the brain itself
eradicate to remove or destroy
erythema nodosum a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the legs below the knees
eustachian tube a tube that links the nasopharynx (the breathing airway at the back of the nose) to the middle ear
extrasystole a premature contraction of the heart that is independent of the normal rhythm of the heart
fascia connective tissue fibers, primarily collagen
fibrosis a term used to refer to scarring
gangrene the decay or death of an organ or tissue caused by a lack of blood supply, infection or inflammatory processes, injury, or degenerative changes associated with chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus
goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland
gurney wheeled cot or stretcher
hemorrhagic cystitis – HC a complication characterized by blood in the urine and painful voiding
hemolysis the process of breaking down of red blood cells
hemoptysis spitting up blood or blood-tinged sputum from the respiratory tract
Hoyer lift Hoyer lifts, or sling lifts, are assistive equipment that help caregivers and health care professionals with transferring patients who are unable to move themselves
HSCT hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
hypercellular having a greater than usual number of cells
hypertension high blood pressure
hypoxic deprived of adequate oxygen
iatrogenic of or relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment
idiopathic of unknown cause
immunosupressed reduced activation or efficacy of the immune system
innumerable too many to be counted
intracranial abcess a walled-off infection inside the skull that may present as a life-threatening emergency
intravascular situated or occurring within a vessel or vessels of an animal or plant, especially within a blood vessel or blood vascular system
ischemia an insufficient supply of blood to an organ
ischemic cerebrovascular disease when a blood vessel becomes blocked, usually from a clot formed from fat and cholesterol
leukaemia cancer of the blood cells
maladies diseases or ailments
malignancies cancerous growths
mastectomy the surgical removal of one or both breasts
mediastinal emphysema pocket of air surrounding the heart and central blood vessels contained within the mediastinum (the central cavity in the chest situated between the lungs)
metastases a tumor growth or deposit that has spread via lymph or blood to an area of the body remote from the primary tumor
metastasis the spread of a cancer or disease from one organ or part to another not directly connected with it
monoplace a hyperbaric chamber designed for one person
mucosal tissues (mucous membranes) tissues that produce mucus
mycosis a fungal infection of animals, including humans
myocardial infarction heart attack
myocarditis inflammation of the myocardium, the middle layer of the heart wall
myodystrophy a chronic, slowly progressing, highly variable, inherited multisystemic disease
necrotizing something that causes body tissue to die
neutropenia low count of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that helps fight off infections
occlusion the blockage or closing of a hollow organ or blood vessel, such as the bowel or an artery in the brain (stroke)
a bone-forming osteocyte, which creates bone growth
an osteocyte concerned with the absorption of osseous tissue, which breaks down bone
a cell of osseous tissue within the bone matrix; a bone cell
off-label the use of pharmaceutical drugs or other treatments for conditions that are not listed on their label, hence off-label. A licensed physician can use best-care medical judgement and is lawfully allowed to prescribe off-label.
oncology branch of medicine that deals with tumours
osteomyelitis infection and inflammation of the bone or bone marrow
osteoradionecrosis possible complication following radiotherapy where an area of bone does not heal from irradiation
paradentosis an inflammation of the jaw bone, in which the tooth root is sitting
paralytic ileus obstruction of the intestine due to paralysis of the intestinal muscles
paroxysmal from time to time
penetrators provides through-hull interfaces for various equipment
peptic ulcer open sores that develop on the inside lining of the esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine
periodontal disease gum disease
peripheral near the surface or outside of
phlegm spreading diffuse inflammatory process with formation of suppurative/purulent exudate or pus – a thick, infected mucous
pityriasis rosea a common skin disease that causes a rash
plasticity the adaptability of an organism to changes in its environment or differences between its various habitats
pleural effusions excess fluid that accumulates in the pleural cavity, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the lungs
pneumothorax collapsed lung
polyneuritis inflammation of several peripheral nerves simultaneously
post traumatic stress disorder an anxiety disorder triggered by a violently traumatic event, causing flashbacks and nightmares, including cognitive impairment in significant areas of functioning
prosthesis an artificial body part, such as a leg, a heart, or a breast implant
Pseudomonas aeroginosa a common bacterium that can cause disease in animals, including humans
purulent consisting of, containing, or discharging pus
pyocephalus the presence of purulent fluid in the brain
radiation therapy therapy for cancer using ionizing radiation which targets rapidly-reproducing cells
refractory stubborn or unmanageable
rejuvenating looking or feeling younger, fresher, or more lively
retinopathy persistent or acute damage to the retina of the eye
retroperitoneum the space between the peritoneum and the posterior abdominal wall that contains the kidneys and associated structures, the pancreas, and part of the aorta and inferior vena cava
RMS, rhabdomyosarcoma a sarcoma in which the cancer cells are thought to arise from embryonic skeletal muscle cells and is typically not found in skeletal muscle
Rx prescription
sarcomas a rare type of cancer that grows in connective tissue
sequelae pathological condition resulting from a disease, injury, therapy, or other trauma
sick sinus syndrome a group of heart rhythm disorders
spontaneous occurring without apparent external cause
stem cell undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide (through mitosis) to produce more stem cells
stomatitis inflammation of the mouth and lips
systemic refers to anything that spreads or is spread throughout, system-wide
tachycardia faster than normal heart rate at rest
tachypena the condition of rapid breathing
telangiectasia small, widened blood vessels on the skin
Tobramycin a brand-name antibiotic, used to treat various types of bacterial infections
transfusions the process of transferring whole blood or blood components from one person (donor) to another (recipient)
ulceration an open sore on the skin or a mucous membrane, which can appear internally and externally
ulcerative coilitis a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
vascular of, relating to, affecting, or consisting of a vessel or vessels, especially those that carry blood
vasculitis inflammation of the blood vessels
vena cava
– inferior
the large vein that carries de-oxygenated blood from the lower half of the body into the right atrium of the heart
vena cava
– superior
the large, but short, vein that carries de-oxygenated blood from the upper half of the body to the right atrium of the heart
venous stasis ulcer wounds that are thought to occur due to improper functioning of venous valves
venous valves valves inside veins which prevent blood travelling in the wrong direction
vertigo a sensation of spinning that is related to problems with the inner ear
zygomycosis infections caused by bread mold fungi