The year of 1963 is the starting point of this Congress, when it took place in the Netherlands at the initiative of famous surgeon and hyperbaric physician Ite Boerema (1902-1980). Held every 3 years, it is not Linked to any institution, only to the professional hyperbaric physicians organizing the event.One of its basic rules dictates that the congress host city is always located on a different continent from the previous one.

As of the 4th Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, the wooden hammer rite was created, which is used to open and close the congress and is passed to the president of the next congress.Since 1981, at the 7th Congress in Moscow, Russia, a commemorative plaque has been attached to the front of the box holding the hammer.

The use of the hammer comes from Norse and Greek mythology, possibly derived from the staffs used by sages who beat them on the ground to get the public´s attention.They were later replaced by small hammers or gavels, smaller and more practical objects.Currently they are used by judges in courts when issuing a decision.Even today we use the expression "strike the hammer" when closing a deal or defining something that was pending.

Some institutions adopt the hammer as a symbol of serious and well-intentioned attitudes, such as the ICHM.Thus, the passing of the wooden hammer at each congress from one president to the next was adopted.Presently the hammer came from Belgrade, Serbia, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is due to be handed over to the president of the next congress at the closing of the ICHM 2020.

We are very proud to organize this congress in Rio, maintaining its tradition of the ritual and of the excellent scientific content. We will be very pleased to welcome you.

Rio awaits you!

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