New hyperbaric chamber installation scheduled for Thursday

Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) new hyperbaric chamber is expected to arrive late Wednesday to be installed starting Thursday morning. The 48-foot, 120,000 pound chamber will be unloaded from the truck and placed inside the 10,278-square foot addition to HCMC’s Purple Building (near the 716 S. 7th St. entrance).

Installation activities will begin at approximately 7 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Kraus-Anderson Construction Company is building the new addition that will house the hyperbaric chamber. 

Hyperbaric Chamber at loading dock in Australia

HCMC currently has the only multi-chamber hyperbaric oxygen facility in the state that’s used for 24/7 emergency treatment of critically ill patients; usually victims of carbon monoxide exposure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also used for treatments including radiation injuries, diabetic ulcers, chronic wound healing, and the HCMC chamber is used for research showing promise for patients with a traumatic brain injury.   

Original hyperbaric chamber being delivered by train, circa 1963

HCMC’s current hyperbaric chamber is 48 years old and located two blocks away from the downtown campus. The new hyperbaric chamber and wound healing center will open in the Spring of 2012.

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