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Medicine Grand Rounds - The Pressure to Pressurize: Some Time-Sensitive Clinical Indications and Mechanisms of Action for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Dr. Thom reviews the basics of “what happens in the chamber” as well as the current understanding of mechanisms for vasculogenic stem cell mobilization, and several anti-inflammatory effects including temporary impairment of neutrophil ß2 integrin adherence and inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome formation that result from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. He reviews the risks of oxygen toxicity, and looks forward to more basic work and clinical trials in the field of hyperbaric medicine.

Activity Details
Start Date:  April 12, 2019
End Date:  April 12, 2021

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  • Stephen R. Thom, MD, PhD
    Professor of Emergency Medicine
    University of Maryland School of Medicine

    Dr. Steven R. Thom received his MD and PhD (microbial physiology) from the University of Rochester, followed by an internship in Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland, and residency in Emergency Medicine at UCLA. He served as Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of Hyperbaric Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania for 27 years and in 2013 took a position at University of Maryland. He currently directs projects funded by NIH, DOD and the Office of Naval Research to assess the role of stem cells in diabetic skin wound healing and pro-inflammatory microparticles in decompression sickness and traumatic brain injury.
Learning Outcome

Participants will be able to summarize several emergent and urgent clinical indications of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, briefly explain biochemical mechanisms of action for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and discuss risks versus benefits of treatment and data on outcome studies.


Dartmouth-Hitchcock is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Requirements for Successful Completion

In order to receive credit for this Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity, you must:

  • View the entire presentation
  • Complete the online Attestation of Attendance & Evaluation Form (you must register to access).

In accordance with the disclosure policy of Dartmouth-Hitchcock/Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth as well as standards set forth by the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education and the Nursing Continuing Education Council standards set forth by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Accreditation, continuing medical education and nursing education activity director(s), planning committee member(s), speaker(s), author(s) or anyone in a position to control the content have been asked to disclose any financial relationship* they have to a commercial interest (any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on patients). Such disclosure is not intended to suggest or condone bias in any presentation, but is elicited to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a given activity.

The following Activity Physician Director(s), planning committee member(s), speaker(s), author(s) or anyone in a position to control the content for The Pressure to Pressurize: Some Time-Sensitive Clinical Indications and Mechanisms of Action for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (Medicine Grand Rounds) have reported the following financial interest or relationship* with various companies/organizations. Dr. Thom has no conflicts of interest. The Activity Director and Planning Committee member roles were resolved by altering the individual’s control over content about the products or services of the commercial interest by the Associate Dean for CME and the Department of Medicine Chair. All potential conflict(s) were resolved.

* Kelly Kieffer, MD ~ her spouse is a consultant for OcculoBio. 

* Richard I. Rothstein, MD ~ has research support from Baranova (research grant to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center) and has other financial interest from Allurion. 

Other planning committee member(s), speaker(s), activity director(s), author(s) or anyone in a position to control the content for this program report no financial interest or relationship* with any company(ies) or organizations whose product may be germane to the content of their presentations.

*A “financial interest or relationship" refers to an equity position, receipt of royalties, consultantship, funding by a research grant, receiving honoraria for educational services elsewhere, or to any other relationship to a company that provides sufficient reason for disclosure, in keeping with the spirit of the stated policy.

Provider Contact Information

Provider contact information for questions regarding accreditation of the activity:

Center for Learning and Professional Development
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Type:     Internet Activity (Enduring Material)
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