Compressed air began being used to treat Caisson's disease and diving injuries over 120 years ago. Back in 1936, 74 years ago, Behnke published the diving tables using oxygen instead of just compressed air to treat diving injuries. Oxygen diving tables were not adopted by the U.S. Navy until 1968!
Unfortunately, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has never been taught in U.S. medical schools, and there are only a few Hyperbaric medicine fellowships. Until recently, in 2003 when the IHMA petitioned Medicare and got diabetic foot wounds approved because it prevents 75% of all amputations, Hyperbaric medicine was only available at about 500 locations. Now it is available at over 1,000 locations and increasing weekly. With it, continuing medical education is being pursued by physicians, and many more physicians today are aware of the benefits of saturating the body's tissues with oxygen. Thanks to Congressman Istook's efforts, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is again receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Stephen Thom has published some ground-breaking research as a result. The previous testimony to Congress, before Dr. Harch's in 2002, was in 1963. I assure you that no other medical specialty has taken so long to tell Congress what they are able to do.
Unfortunately, though DoD developed this medicine, it has not been fully implemented to the level of known benefit to patients. This is largely because everyone "thought" they were treating bubbles as the cause of decompression sickness, the primary indication. It turned out they were generally treating damage the bubbles cause, not just bubbles. That was not discovered until 1989. Many today still believe they are treating bubbles, and this misunderstanding has held back the science and acceptance of HBOT as a therapy for general application to the repair of underlying biological processes common to many conditions.