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Hyperbaric Chamber Matters

Hyperbaric chamber - camara hiperbarica - ppal

All Dressel Divers professionals and the people who choose us to enjoy this sport contribute to the hyperbaric chamber maintenance closest to the base were we are, and with which we have a collaboration agreement.

Dressel Divers has more than 27 years of experience diving in different parts of the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to our exquisite safety measures, we have an unstained historical safety record with 0% accident rate. Still, we know that having a hyperbaric chamber near our bases is a treatment guarantee and the best way to treat decompression injuries should they occur.

What Is a Hyperbaric Chamber?

A hyperbaric chamber is used to perform oxygen therapy treatments, which consists of breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. A hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber is cylinder-shaped, usually made of steel, with a sealed watertight compartment. The interior is large enough to fit, at least, one human being lying down or sitting down.

It treats various diseases. The most related to diving are CO2 poisoning, air embolism, and decompression illness (DCI).

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How A Hyperbaric Chamber Treats DCI

As we explained in the article Divers’ Decompression Principles – Everything You Need to Know About Them, DCI happens when our body cannot remove the dissolved nitrogen in the blood while diving.

The best way to avoid this issue is to dive within the limits of no-decompression diving or, for more advanced divers, make the decompression stops necessary to remove dissolved nitrogen from the body.

Symptoms of DCI include joint pain, tingling or numbness in the extremities, nausea, headache, and fatigue. When these symptoms appear, the patient is treated in a hyperbaric chamber.

The patient is submitted to an atmospheric pressure of 3ATA or higher and provided medicinal oxygen through an inhaler. These pressure conditions allow the lungs to process much more oxygen than breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. In addition, the increased pressure reduces the size of the nitrogen bubbles accumulated in the body, while the extra oxygen accelerates their evacuation.

Treatment includes three phases:

Pressurization. Over 10 to 15 minutes, the pressure builds slowly, and patients must equalize the ears.

Treatment. When the hyperbaric chamber reaches the prescribed pressure levels, the patient receives oxygen for approximately two hours.

Decompression. After the treatment, the pressure in the hyperbaric chamber drops back to normal levels. Specialized medical personnel from outside the machine control the phases and the patient vital signs.

Except in extremely severe cases, which will need to repeat the treatment, the patients recover completely after one correct treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

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What To Do If You Suspect a DCI?

According to DAN, the person in charge must move the injured diver to the closest hyperbaric medicine center emergency room. Meanwhile, the diver should breathe 100% normobaric oxygen.

The doctors will stabilize the patient and rule out other diseases, such as pneumothorax, myocardial infarction, etc.

At Dressel Divers, we have a detailed emergency plan. Also, we have collaboration agreements with the closest operating hyperbaric chambers.

Of course, there is oxygen equipment on all our diving boats and in our centers. You can consult our emergency plan and evacuation protocol if you wish.

Contact us for more information on hyperbaric chambers or emergency plans.

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