Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is a primary source of information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide.


The Undersea Medical Society (UMS) grew from the close associations of a small group of scientists. These men realized after a series of International Symposia on Underwater Physiology, initiated by the University of Pennsylvania and the Office of Naval Research that there was a need to stimulate in the field of undersea medicine.[1][2] This group consisted of diving and aerospace Dr's Edward L. Beckman, Jack L. Kinsey, Christian J. Lambertsen, Walter F. Mazzone, Earl H. Ninow, and Robert D. Workman.[1] The key decision from this meeting was that Dr. Lambertsen was charged with writing the Constitution and establishing the Society.[1] They also decided that the Aerospace Medical Association could be the initial home of the UMS.[1]

On 10 April 1967, a meeting was held in Washington, D.C. to introduce the charter membership and elect the Society officers and Executive committee.[1] There were 88 charter members and the founding Executive committee was made up of Dr's Edward L. Beckman, Albert R. Behnke, George F. Bond, Wallace O. Fenn, Jack L. Kinsey, Christian J. Lambertsen, Walter F. Mazzone, Earl H. Ninow, Heinz R. Schreiner, and Robert D. Workman.[1]

By 1973, the UMS had grown to the point of needing an office and hired Charles W. Shilling as the first Executive secretary.[1] By the next year, the UMS established its scientific journal, Undersea Biomedical Research.[1][3] The journal continued under this name until 1993 when it was changed to Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal.[4]

In 1986, the UMS changed its name to the current one. The name change reflected the rapidly growing interest in hyperbaric oxygen physiology and therapy.[1] The UHMS's purpose is to provide scientific information to protect the health of sport, military and commercial divers and to improve the scientific basis of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, promote sound treatment protocols and standards of practice and provide CME accreditation within its field.

Indications for hyperbaric oxygen

UHMS definition of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO): The patient breathes 100% oxygen intermittently while the pressure of the treatment chamber is increased to greater than one atmosphere absolute (atm abs). Current information indicates that pressurization should be at least 1.4 atm abs. This may occur in a single person chamber (monoplace) or multiplace chamber (may hold 2 or more people). Breathing 100% oxygen at 1 atm abs or exposing isolated parts of the body to 100% oxygen does not constitute HBO therapy.

UHMS approved Indications: The following indications are approved uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as defined by the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee.[5]


Medical training in Hyperbaric Medicine occurs through a post graduate medical fellowship. Hyperbaric medicine fellowships in the United States are approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) under the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) and by the American Osteopathic Association under the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOABOS).[41][42]

Training and certification for hyperbaric technology is offered by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology.[43]


The UHMS Charles W. Shilling Library is the largest repository of diving and hyperbaric research and clinical information—current and historical—in the world. The library is located at the Duke University Medical Center (DUMC) Library in Durham, NC. The collection consists of books, journals, reports, workshops, symposia, conference proceedings, and annotated bibliographies spanning the fields of diving, hyperbaric, and marine medicine. There is a small journal and newsletter collection dealing with diving safety and diving medicine. The library has extensive reprint files of articles, cataloged by author, related to diving and hyperbaric medicine and dating back to the 1930s.

Many of the UHMS publications have been scanned and are available online at the Rubicon Research Repository. Other articles can be found in the DUMC Archive finding aids.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Chandler, Donald. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society 1967 - 2007: A history of 40 years. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. p. 59.
  2. staff. "Underwater Physiology Symposium Finding Aid". Rubicon Foundation. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  3. UHMS. "Undersea Biomedical Research Journal collection". Rubicon Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  4. UHMS. "Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal collection". Rubicon Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  5. The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee. Guidelines: Indications for Hyperbaric Oxygen. Durham, NC: UHMS; 2009.
  6. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Air or Gas Embolism". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  7. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Carbon Monoxide". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  8. Piantadosi CA (2004). "Carbon monoxide poisoning". Undersea Hyperb Med. 31 (1): 167–77. PMID 15233173. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  9. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Cyanide Poisoning". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  10. Hall AH, Rumack BH (September 1986). "Clinical toxicology of cyanide". Ann Emerg Med. 15 (9): 1067–74. doi:10.1016/S0196-0644(86)80131-7. PMID 3526995. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  11. Takano T, Miyazaki Y, Nashimoto I, Kobayashi K (September 1980). "Effect of hyperbaric oxygen on cyanide intoxication: in situ changes in intracellular oxidation reduction". Undersea Biomed Res. 7 (3): 191–7. PMID 7423657. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  12. Butler FK, Hagan C, Murphy-Lavoie H (2008). "Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and the eye". Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. 35 (5): 333–87. PMID 19024664. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  13. Wright JK, Franklin B, Zant E (2007). "Clinical case report: treatment of a central retinal vein occlusion with hyperbaric oxygen". Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. 34 (5): 315–9. PMID 18019081. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  14. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Clostridal Myositis and Myonecrosis (Gas gangrene)". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  15. Hart GB, Strauss MB (1990). "Gas Gangrene - Clostridial Myonecrosis: A Review". J. Hyperbaric Med. 5 (2): 125–144. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  16. Zamboni WA, Riseman JA, Kucan JO (1990). "Management of Fournier's Gangrene and the role of Hyperbaric Oxygen". J. Hyperbaric Med. 5 (3): 177–186. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  17. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Crush Injury, Compartment syndrome, and other Acute Traumatic Ischemias". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  18. Bouachour G, Cronier P, Gouello JP, Toulemonde JL, Talha A, Alquier P (August 1996). "Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the management of crush injuries: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial". J Trauma. 41 (2): 333–9. doi:10.1097/00005373-199608000-00023. PMID 8760546. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  19. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Decompression Sickness or Illness and Arterial Gas Embolism". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  20. Brubakk, A. O.; T. S. Neuman (2003). Bennett and Elliott's physiology and medicine of diving (5th Rev ed.). United States: Saunders Ltd. p. 800. ISBN 0-7020-2571-2.
  21. Acott, C. (1999). "A brief history of diving and decompression illness.". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal. 29 (2). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
  22. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Enhancement of Healing in Selected Problem Wounds". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  23. Zamboni WA, Wong HP, Stephenson LL, Pfeifer MA (September 1997). "Evaluation of hyperbaric oxygen for diabetic wounds: a prospective study". Undersea Hyperb Med. 24 (3): 175–9. PMID 9308140. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  24. Kranke P, Bennett M, Roeckl-Wiedmann I, Debus S (2004). Kranke P, ed. "Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for chronic wounds". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD004123. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004123.pub2. PMID 15106239.
  25. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Exceptional Blood Loss - Anemia". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  26. Hart GB, Lennon PA, Strauss MB (1987). "Hyperbaric oxygen in exceptional acute blood-loss anemia". J. Hyperbaric Med. 2 (4): 205–210. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  27. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Intracranial Abscess". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  28. Lampl LA, Frey G, Dietze T, Trauschel M (1989). "Hyperbaric Oxygen in Intracranial Abscesses". J. Hyperbaric Med. 4 (3): 111–126. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  29. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  30. Escobar SJ, Slade JB, Hunt TK, Cianci P (2005). "Adjuvant hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) for treatment of necrotizing fasciitis reduces mortality and amputation rate". Undersea Hyperb Med. 32 (6): 437–43. PMID 16509286. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  31. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Refractory Osteomyelitis". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  32. Mader JT, Adams KR, Sutton TE (1987). "Infectious diseases: pathophysiology and mechanisms of hyperbaric oxygen". J. Hyperbaric Med. 2 (3): 133–140. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  33. Kawashima M, Tamura H, Nagayoshi I, Takao K, Yoshida K, Yamaguchi T (2004). "Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in orthopedic conditions". Undersea Hyperb Med. 31 (1): 155–62. PMID 15233171. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  34. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Hyperbaric Ocxgen Treatments for Complications of radiation Therapy". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  35. Zhang, L. D.; J. F. Kang; H. L. Xue. (1990). "Distribution of lesions in the head and neck of the humerus and the femur in dysbaric osteonecrosis". Undersea Biomed. Res. 17 (4): 353–358. ISSN 0093-5387. OCLC 2068005. PMID 2396333. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  36. Lafforgue P (2006). "Pathophysiology and natural history of avascular necrosis of bone". Joint Bone Spine. 73 (5): 500–7. doi:10.1016/j.jbspin.2006.01.025. PMID 16931094.
  37. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Skin Grafts and Flaps Compromised". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  38. McFarlane RM, Wermuth RE (May 1966). "The use of hyperbaric oxygen to prevent necrosis in experimental pedicle flaps and composite skin grafts". Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 37 (5): 422–30. doi:10.1097/00006534-196605000-00008. PMID 5327032.
  39. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. "Thermal Burns". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  40. Cianci P, Lueders H, Lee H, Shapiro R, Sexton J, Williams C, Green B (1988). "Adjunctive Hyperbaric Oxygen Reduces the Need for Surgery in 40-80% Burns". J. Hyperbaric Med. 3 (2): 97–101. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  41. "Specialties and Subspecialties". American Osteopathic Association. 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  42. Vorosmarti J (March 1990). "A "Certificate of Added Qualifications" by the American Board of Preventive Medicine". Undersea Biomed Res. 17 (2): 93. PMID 2321321. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  43. "National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology". NBDHMT. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
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