If you think you may have Decompression Sickness – Please Contact us or an appropriate medical facility.

What Does a Chamber Treatment Involve?

Here at Utila Hyperbaric Chamber we typically run US Navy Tables 5, 6 and 9

When we first get news of a patient, we start assembling a team. The Chamber requires 4 people to operate it; A supervisor, Operator, Tender and Med Tech/Doctor. We need two certified Chamber Operators for each treatment (the supervisor being one), before starting the procedure. We then start looking for tenders, usually going to our DMTs/MSDTs first. It can be very difficult to find someone who hasn’t gone diving or drank at all that day so we often branch out. We also need to have a prescribing doctor and a Med Tec – usually the Doctor fulfills both roles. The doctor works with the patient while the Operator is performing the safety pre check and the Supervisor is generally briefing the tender as well as dealing with family and friends of the patient.

Decompression Sickness is treated with re-compression in a chamber to 60 FSW or deeper associated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Breathing. In the U.S this therapy is usually guided by a Navy Treatment Table. These tables are very effective, especially when re-compression is begun promptly.

The purpose of the therapy called for in the Navy Treatment Tables is two-fold; to promote inert gas elimination and to cause a decrease in bubble size. The treatment outlined by the tables also provides oxygen to the damaged tissues, treats platelet and clotting damage and allows excretion of harmful metabolites. The oxygen reduces CNS edema and provides a high oxygen gradient for the ischemic tissues.

Table 6 treatment indicated re-compression to 60 feet for 285 minutes, with intermittent oxygen breathing periods and slow “ascent to the surface”. The periods of Oxygen breathing are broken up into intervals to prevent O2 toxicity. Even after “successful” treatment, some people experience relapse of symptoms. Recurrences are usually treated with Treatment Table 5 or Treatment Table 6, daily, until no further improvement is observed by the medical Director.

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