Hyperbaric Chamber Manufacturer and Designer Robert L. Sands

Robert L. Sands

In 1990, Hyperbaric Chamber Manufacturer Robert Sands was described as one of the world’s "foremost diving and hyperbaric engineering designers . . . with considerable interpersonal skills, enthusiasm and vision"* He is a founding member of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association and continues to be a top pioneer in his field today.

Robert Lyne-Sands is a Founder and CEO of Healing Chambers International, a guild of hyperbaric centers around the World with the mission to make Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) available and affordable to all who need it.

Sands has established a number of out-patient HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen treatment) centers across the U.S., Mexico and Southeast Asia, with continuing growth in those regions. Currently, Sands designed chambers are operating in 8 different locations in the United States, South America and Southeast Asia. Sands' San Diego facility currently utilizes cutting-edge technology for the treatment of brain tumors and head injuries.

This video was used as introduction to the keynote address by Robert L. Sands at the 7th International Symposium of Hyperbaric Oxygenation, 2010 in Los Angeles California. His topic "The recent history of HBOT in the US & forecasting the future of hyperbaric medicine."

With research grants from the Australian Department of Science and Technology, Sands' first patent (1982) evolved into a unique transportable recompression chamber (TRCS) that could be flown in helicopters as small as the Bell U-H series. The Sands Design was granted a full U.S. patent in 1989 and was chosen above all other U.S. and foreign designs by the United States Department of Defense.

Transportable Recompression Chamber System (TRCS), portable hyperbaric chambers
Photo courtesy of Robert L. Sands

The Sands TRCS is now in fleet-wide use by the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Forces, and other Western Alliance Navies, and it's design is now copied widely in other countries. When Sands migrated from Australia and settled in California, there were less than 300 Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) hospital-based chambers in North America. These facilities treated only 14 life and limb saving illnesses and traumas.

It is for this reason that that this preeminent biomedical designer turned his attention to the many other chronic maladies that would benefit from HBOT. In 1997, Robert Sands designed another original chamber, the Series III Clinical Monoplace; Simple to use and patient-friendly.

Transportable Recompression Chamber System (TRCS), portable hyperbaric chambers
Photo courtesy of Robert L. Sands

From young children to the elderly to special considerations for the massively obese, all could be safely and comfortably treated. Part of Sands’ design criteria was that the new chamber could be fabricated at reasonable cost and in small quantities. Thus, the units could eventually become affordable and possibly built in third-world countries. Robert Sands retired from the manufacturing side of the industry in 2004 -- however, one of his sons has taken chamber-building and design to the next level.

Sands is now concentrating on hospital-standard care HBOT centers and clinics throughout the world. Robert Sands has a special passion for the children and elderly who suffer from brain damage (i.e, stroke, cerebral palsy, autism, near-drowning, etc.). Since U.S. hospitals with hyperbaric chambers would not treat these patients, he became the first non-physician to open an independent, out-patient HBOT Center in 1993, utilizing the medical knowledge of an eminent Science Advisory Board, consisting of specialist physicians.

Many have followed Sands' example since that time, and the treatment is becoming more accessible to patients who desperately need it. Emily, the first child with cerebral palsy to receive HBOT in North America, was successfully treated at one of Sands' centers. In the last two decades, Sands has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities and hospitals across the U.S., South America, and South East Asia, as well as making television appearances including a feature in the Discovery Channel’s "The Healing Chamber" program. Sands describes himself as a "Citizen of the Planet, with a U.S. Passport" and holds a great determination to make HBOT accessible to all people at affordable prices.

Transportable Recompression Chamber System (TRCS), portable hyperbaric chambers