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A Gamow bag (pronounced Gam-Off) is an inflatable pressure bag large enough to accommodate a person inside. By inflating the bag with a foot pump, the effective altitude can be decreased by 1000 to as much as 3000 meters (3281 to 9743 feet). It is primarily used for treating severe cases of altitude sickness. Like office-based hyperbaric medicine, the Gamow bag uses increased partial pressure of oxygen for therapy of hypobaric injury, but it has the advantage of being portable for field use.
The gamow bag was named after its inventor, Dr. Igor Gamow, son of George Gamow. Dr. Gamow originally designed a predecessor to the gamow bag called "The Bubble" for high-altitude athletes. This would produce more red blood cells to carry more oxygen to the muscles, increasing the athlete's abilities. The equipment was deemed too bulky and susceptible to overheating.
Dr. Gamow persisted, and re-designed 'The Bubble' into a bag that could be used by high-altitude climbers.
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