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Hyperbaric therapy pioneer dies

Jan. 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM   |   Comments

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Eric P. Kindwall, a Wisconsin physician considered the father of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, has died, colleagues said. He was 78.

Kindwall died from complications from cancer and kidney failure, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.

"He was a pioneer in the field," said Jeffrey Niezgoda, who succeeded Kindwall as medical director of the Center for Comprehensive Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee. "He was one of the physicians who set the standard for the practice of clinical hyperbaric medicine in the United States."

Kindwall was the author the first textbook on hyperbaric medicine, the use of pressurized oxygen to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness and wounds.

He majored in zoology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and in 1960 graduated from the Yale University School of Medicine.

During the Vietnam War, Kindwall entered the Navy and served on the USS Robert E. Lee, a nuclear submarine, as a medical officer and taught diving to the other sailors.

In the mid-1970s Kindwall returned to the Milwaukee area and became chief of the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine at St. Luke's Hospital.

Kindwall is survived by his wife Marilyn and three children.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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