The Father of Veterinary Hyperbaric Medicine

The Board of Directors is proud to announce that Hyperbaric Medicine International will be honoring Dr. Tim Crowe, DVM, at the upcoming HBOT 2019 Hyperbaric Medicine Symposium for his contributions to advancing the field of Hyperbaric Medicine.

Dr. Dennis T. (Tim) Crowe, Jr., DVM

Dr. Crowe is recognized by many as the father of Veterinary Hyperbaric Medicine. Dr. Diane Levitan, VMD, described Dr. Crowe as "a genius and legend" among Veterinarians practicing Hyperbaric Medicine. "Although not the first to publish on HBOT, he had the greatest impact on spreading both the knowledge and the technology of not only HBOT but so many devices and techniques that have advanced our profession. He is an incredible person."

Dr. Crowe's professional journey towards becoming one of the most respected leaders in the field began in 1993 while he was doing a rotation in veterinary special surgical and critical care in Baltimore, Maryland. At the time he was also volunteering at a nearby emergency medicine center for human patients with the hope that some of the human medicine techniques could be adopted to the care of canine and feline patients.

"During my stay there one day I was introduced to hyperbaric oxygen therapy by one of the trauma surgeons, Dr. Roy Myers, who was heading up the hyperbaric program there," he recalled. "I saw first hand what was involved and some amazing results from using it in the treatment of severe wounds and infections and edema. I was hooked."

After completing his rotation, Dr. Crowe moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he met and was mentored by Dr. Eric Kindwall, one of the most prominent and influential early proponents of Hyperbaric Medicine. At that time Kindwall was the Chief of Hyperbaric Medicine at Saint Luke’s Medical Center and at the Medical College of Wisconsin which were near Dr. Crowe's veterinary practice.  He decided to purchase a chamber and begin practicing hyperbaric medicine at his own clinic.

"Years later Eric invited me to become a member in the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine," where Dr. Kindwall was serving as the organization's first executive director, Dr. Crowe.

In 1997 Dr. Crowe moved to Carson City, Nevada, where he purchased a new chamber to continue using HBOT to treat injured animals. "[We had] several cases of brain and spinal cord injury or ischemia where clinical signs were completely reversed," he noted.

A few years later Dr. Crowe experienced something of an epiphany. He was visiting Dr. Richard Neubauer, another of the most influential early proponents of Hyperbaric Medicine. One evening the pair shared a meal with a hyperbaric physician visiting from Russia. "I will always remember something that she said that night at the dinner table: 'Dr. Neubauer you are using too much pressure, too much pressure… you do not need at all that much pressure.'" Her research had demonstrated that many of the effects of HBOT occurred with only a few PSI of pressure. Dr. Crowe began implementing treatment protocols with lower pressures with many of his patients when indicated.

Like other great leaders in Hyperbaric Medicine, Dr. Crowe has a passion for teaching, coaching, and mentoring. He has been actively involved in the training of several hundred veterinary students, over seventy interns and fifty residents in either surgery, emergency and critical care, and in the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Many of his students have gone on to become notable HBOT researchers and practitioners.

He has also experienced Hyperbaric Medicine as a patient as well as a practitioner. "On two separate occasions hyperbaric oxygen treatments literally saved my leg and possibly my life," he said. When he suffered a deep soft tissue injury while training as a firefighter intravenous antibiotics and surgical debridement failed to control the infection at least partly due factors caused by his diabetes. However, HBOT succeeded where standard practices fell short. Later he suffered a second, similar injury in a stage accident while playing with a Country Western Band in Nashville, Tennessee, leading to another round of HBOT.

His wife Deb is currently battling multiple myeloma and Hyperbaric Medicine is a key part of their battle plan. Dr. Crowe reported, "Both her oncologist and her neurosurgeon are very impressed as to her recovery and they both agree that the hyperbaric therapy treatments she has been given and will continue to get are making a positive difference."

Reminiscing over his career, Dr. Crowe shared, "I thank God that I have had this opportunity to have been in the beginning of the clinical use of hyperbaric oxygen in veterinary medicine.  My continued goal is teach as many as will listen about the benefits of HBOT, and this includes physicians as well."

In addition to receiving honors, Dr. Crowe will be presenting at the HBOT 2019 Hyperbaric Medicine Symposium.

Dr. Dennis T. (Tim) Crowe, Jr., DVM, DACVS, DACVECC, FCCM, NREMT-I, CFF is chief of staff of Pet Emergency Clinics and Specialty Hospital in Ventura and Thousand Oaks, Calif. He is president of Veterinary Surgery, Emergency, and Critical Care Services and Consulting in Bogart, Ga. Dr. Crowe is one of the founding members of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. He is also a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a fellow in the American College of Critical Care Medicine. He is a certified fire fighter, nationally registered EMT-I and a paramedic instructor at Lanier Technical College in Oakwood, Ga.

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