This photo from the 1930s shows an oxygen tent used in the treatment of a premature infant at Boston Children's Hospital.
Image from Boston Children's Hospital Archives
L. R. Cameto’s Patent for Oxygen Tent Atmospheric Conditioning Apparatus
Two options for oxygen circulation in an oxygen chamber are shown in these drawings from 1936.
Image from David Lucas
A controlled oxygen enriched environment is delivered to a newborn via an oxygen hood.
Image from KUMC Respiratory Care Program
One of the earliest hyperbaric chambers in the world was developed at New York's Mt. Sinai Hospital and is shown in this 1924 photo.
Image from a collection shared by Aracely Bigelow
Dr. Orval J. Cunningham opened this large hyperbaric chamber in 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio. Known as the Cunningham Sanitarium, this large million dollar, multi-place hyperbaric chamber could accommodate 40 patients. After the stock market crash in 1929, the facility struggled financially and eventually closed. In 1942, the U.S. War Production Office ordered the metal structure to be dismantled and scrapped to support the war efforts.
Image from Roger Huber
The Cunningham multi-place hyperbaric facility in Cleveland, Ohio is shown on the far right. It is identified as an oxygen sanitarium on this postcard.
Topical oxygen therapy encompasses an airtight bag sealed around the wounded surface of a limb and high flow oxygen is fed into the bag flowing over the wound. Oxygen is provided to the surface of the wound by diffusion.
Topical oxygen is sometimes labeled as topical hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but this is incorrect. In hyperbaric oxygen, the entire body is exposed to supra-atmospheric pressure and the patient is exposed to increased oxygen pressure by ventilation--thus the increased oxygen pressure is delivered to the wound by perfusion. In topical oxygen therapy, the oxygen is provided to the surface of the wound, and oxygen is delivered to the wound by diffusion at the skin's surface. The mechanisms of oxygen delivery are thus completely different. Advocates for this type of therapy cite decreased costs and increased safety for its usage over hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Since neither CMS nor private payors reimburse for this therapy it has fallen into relative disuse.
J.L. Pragel’s Patent for a Portable Infant Incubator was awarded in 1949.