hyperbaric chamber

or decompression chamber or recompression chamber

Sealed chamber supplying a high-pressure atmosphere primarily for medical therapy. Breathing air or oxygen at typically 1.5–3 times normal pressure increases the oxygen level in tissues. This effect is used, for example, to treat carbon monoxide poisoning or to inhibit growth of anaerobic bacteria (as in gas gangrene). The compressive effect of the elevated pressure causes damaging gas bubbles in tissues (as in air embolism or decompression sickness) to shrink and gradually be absorbed.

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A decompression chamber is a pressure vessel used in surface supplied diving to allow the divers to complete their decompression stops at the end of a dive on the surface rather than underwater. This eliminates many of the risks of long decompressions underwater, in cold or dangerous conditions.

Often the terms "decompression chamber", "recompression chamber" and "hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber" are used interchangeably. The names reflect the different purposes that the chambers are designed for, rather than their capability. Each is capable of operating in the others' role:

Popular Culture

A decompression chamber is used in various films. Most notable was the movie Licence to Kill as Krest was decompressed and expanded to messy effect. Decompression chambers are also used in the game Unreal Tournament where players or bots would enter and enemies would push a button which decompressed them to a pulp.

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