Barry Goes ‘Baric

The guy over the road, Jim, has been telling me about this treatment his brother, Barry, has been having for his circulation problems (don’t ask me for the details on that – I tend to tune out about Jim’s siblings health complaints, as there’s always a never-ending spiel of new additions to the list). Anyway, this thing is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and it involves getting into a sort of chamber in which you can breathe air with a higher oxygen content than usual.

By the sound of it, Barry is looking into buying a hyperbaric chamber for home use. Jim tells me that going to the hospital to receive the treatment really adds up over time – Barry’s been at it for a while now, and it seems like he’s going to need to keep getting the treatment in the future, so it makes sense for him to drop a bunch of cash on getting a portable chamber that he can set up in his house.

I asked Jim if administering this treatment is something that you’re meant to be medically qualified for. Jim reckons it’s considered pretty safe, and that the portable chambers are devised to be relatively foolproof. I didn’t quite believe him, so I had a quick look into what the  deal is with home-based hyperbaric medicine in Melbourne.

From what I can see, it looks like Jim might be right – it does seem to be legit for people to set up these portable chambers in their houses. Of course, it would make more sense in a lot of cases to go to a hospital for treatment – there are so many different conditions that this thing can be applied to. I get the sense that you’d invest in an at-home system if you were already familiarised with hospital-based hyperbaric therapy and needed long-term treatment.

Good old Jim; always teaching me something new about the world. At least this time I learned something other than how boring chats with neighbours can be!