Monoplace Hyperbaric Chambers

ETC monoplace hyperbaric chamber
Patient reclining in a monoplace chamber.
Note the entertainment system and intercom.
Image courtesy of ETC Biomedical Systems.

Patients in the United States receive over 100,000 treatments every year in monoplace hyperbaric chambers. Monoplace chambers can be found in hospitals, outpatient facilities, and independent hyperbaric clinics. Many comprehensive woundcare clinics are equipped with monoplace chambers.

Built by a few specialty manufacturing companies, monoplace hyperbaric chambers are Class II Medical Devices under US law and are regulated by the US Food and Drug administration (FDA). The FDA, manufacturers, and medical organizations have defined extensive rules and best practices for use of these devices.

Treatment Features

  • Before treatment the patient dons special clothing and brings nothing into the monoplace chamber.
  • The patient lies flat or in a reclining position during monoplace treatment.
  • Because 100% oxygen fills the chamber, the patient does not need to wear a mask or hood during treatment.
  • Medical staff and caregivers remain outside the chamber during treatment.
  • Treatment center staff communicate with patients through an intercom system.
  • Pass-through ports in the chamber wall allow clinicians to attach electronic monitors, IV pumps, and other medical equipment.
  • Patients can watch a video monitor positioned outside the chamber. Over the course of forty 90-minute treatments, entertainment may be an important consideration for patient comfort.


Modern monoplace chamber designs have an excellent safety record. Patients in monoplace chambers are grounded, and the chamber itself is grounded, to prevent sparks from static electricity. Modern monoplace chambers have emergency systems for quickly and safely decompressing the chamber and flushing out pure oxygen with normal air.

Patients concerned about equipment safety can ask to see the treatment center’s routine maintenance and safety inspection records. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) affixes a metal identification plate on every hyperbaric chamber certified as a pressure vessel for human occupancy (PVHO-1).

What's not a monoplace chamber

Inflatable devices, so-called “mild hyperbaric chambers”, do not operate at 1.5+ atmospheres of pressure and are not cleared for use with 100% oxygen. They are not used by hospitals, outpatient facilities, or independent hyperbaric clinics and cannot provide the pressure+oxygen+time required to deliver the therapeutic benefit identified by medical research.

 Important Safety Precaution: Using medical oxygen or oxygen concentrators with mild HBOT devices may create a fire hazard and may constitute an illegal adulteration of a medical device. The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) warns that hyperbaric treatment should not be self-administered or administered in the home.

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Updated: 27 Aug 2015 04:11 PM
Created: 25 Aug 2015 05:12 PM
By: About the authors »