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International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine - Newletter 2004 (Page 7)

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International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine - Newletter 2004
to the tissues. This technique is also of
potential application to divers by promoting
nitrogen elimination.
Agood meeting is always more than the sum of
its parts. In Sydney we tried some new things
and resurrected some old in an attempt to
capture a truly collegiate feel. The academic
days always started with what is proving to be
the very popular update series of lectures ­ this
year covering work over the previous 12
months in DCS/AGE (Richard Moon),
Infections (Mike Bennett), Carbon Monoxide
Poisoning (Lin Weaver), Flaps, Grafts and
Acute Ischaemias (Ian Millar), Chronic
Wounds (Bob Warriner) and Non-approved
Indications (Dick Clarke). At lunchtimes there
were two optional addresses on subjects of less
directly scientific interest available. The range
of topics were wide and included a popular
discourse on recreational technical diving from
Simon Mitchell, forensic aspects of diving
from Chris Lawrence and a worrying talk on
marine envenomation from Geoff Isbister. Neil
Hampson bravely and expertly stood in at the
last minute to talk about radiation injuries. The
addition of a sponsors breakfast was a great
touch adopted from the co-located meeting of
the Hyperbaric Technicians and Nurses
Association meeting. (We were both grateful
and fortunate that the HTNA was happy to
devote their energies to a joint meeting this
year. It worked for us and I hope for them.)
Socially, Sydney lived up to expectations and
rounded out the delegates'experience. We had
posters of dubious but amusing research at the
cocktail reception, snake and reptile handling
hyperbaric professors in a convict-built
restaurant, piratical behaviour from past
presidents around sites of major architectural
significance in the Old Rocks area (OK, it was
a pub crawl) and a fine dinner and dance
overlooking the sparkling Darling Harbour. I
think everybody enjoyed themselves and there
was always plenty of time to sleep on the long
trip home! I will look forward to hosting our
the major players were there and contributed to
the only comprehensive treatment of this
subject in an interactive format of which I am
The ASM proper was similarly full of exciting
and useful information. The meeting was
opened by Associate Professor Stephen Gatt
from the Division of Anaesthesia at the
University of New South Wales in Sydney. A
long-time supporter of Hyperbaric Medicine,
he spoke eloquently and passionately about the
need for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to take
its rightful place in the therapeutic armamen-
tarium through the performance and dissemi-
nation of good clinical evidence of
effectiveness. The contributors to the scientific
sessions would not have disappointed him.
Session topics were as varied as we have
become used to in these meetings and covered
all aspects of the field from military diving
applications to Cochrane reviews of
effectiveness. To pick out a couple of
highlights from the many possible, we heard
the first presentation of results from the much-
awaited HORTIS trial from Dick Clarke and a
fascinating report on the use of intravascular
perfluorocarbon microbubbles to transport
oxygen from Claes Lundgren. Reporting the
early results of the proctitis arm of the
HORTIS, this clinical RCT into the effect of
HBOT on radiation tissue injury confirms
HBOT is an effective therapy compared to
sham. More than 50% of individuals who
receive HBOT are substantially improved with
a number needed to treat of three. This is an
important, practical clinical result to say the
least. On the other hand, the work of Claes and
his team on the multiple potential applications
of perfluorocarbons in diving and medicine is
entirely experimental at this stage. But what an
exciting body of work is emerging. In the study
reported here, for example, this group shows
greatly improved survival from haemorrhagic
shock in pigs treated with very small doses of
microbubbles capable of transporting oxygen
Fall 2004
Page 7
HBO Congress

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