Decompression and decompression sickness commonly known as the "bends" contributed to the research of deep diving techniques and mixed gas diving, not only by allowing the diver to venture deeper combating the adverse effects of narcosis but also by eradicating long in water decompression times.
Oxygen breathed at shallow depth has proven effective in accelerating the rate at which the inert nitrogen and helium accumulated in the blood and tissue can be released through exhalation. Omitting decompression could cause the diver to get decompression sickness. Apart from pain in the joints and under the skin the diver could suffer paralysis, air embolism and in severe cases death.
Some Greek divers ate honey by the buckets as a prevention against decompression sickness, and treatments for it ranged from hot baths to cold packs with liberal use of analgesics and morphine.
The Laboratory of Hyperbaric Physiology at the Medical Clinic of the University of Zurich came into existence in 1960 thanks to private initiative and a readiness to undertake risks. Its successful start was made possible with the help from the French Navy and the United States Navy.
The basic term of the research was always the well-being and functional ability of the human, being in an atmosphere of abnormal pressure and of abnormal composition.
Recompression chambers did not escape the trials of testing and retesting and today is one of the most important technological advances in pressure related studies, enabling the hyperbaric, medical and physiological personnel to safely and effectively combat lasting effects of decompression sickness by recompressing the diver to a desired depth and slowly bringing that diver up in a controlled environment.