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KEMH’s hyperbaric chamber passes major test

A hyperbaric chamber used at King Edward VII Memorial to treat divers suffering from the bends has passed an independent international risk assessment. And the result has prompted the global Divers Alert Network (DAN) to endorse the hospital as a preferred provider of treatment for anyone suffering a decompression illness.

The chamber and its systems, used within the hospital’s hyperbaric medicine department, were assessed by expert Francois Burman, author of the Hyperbaric Risk Assessment Guide.

Mr Burman said: “This is an extremely thorough, internationally-recognised assessment and I congratulate the hyperbaric medicine team at KEMH on passing. I was impressed by their dedication and commitment to ensure the highest standards of care and safety are followed.”

Daniel Gericke, safety officer for the chamber, said: “This is a great achievement for the team and important for diving in Bermuda. Being accredited as a preferred provider by DAN means that tourists can feel safe coming to Bermuda to dive and we become part of DAN’s referral network for anyone who suffers a decompression illness.

“As such diseases are exacerbated by flying, should a diver become ill in mid-flight while travelling over the Atlantic, they could be diverted to our facility if we were the closest approved facility. This places our service in Bermuda on the international map.”

Dr Edward Schultz, the hospital’s chief of emergency and hyperbaric medicine, said: “We are proud of our hyperbaric chamber and very pleased that we can demonstrate the quality of our service to the community by passing an independent international risk assessment.

“Alongside its use for decompression illness, hyperbaric medicine can sometimes help people with complex wounds, for example, people who have diabetic ulcers.

“It can have a dramatic impact on the healing process and reduce the incidence of amputations for some patients. It is an important treatment to be able to offer at an international standard in Bermuda.”

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Published August 22, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 22, 2011 at 10:23 am)

KEMH’s hyperbaric chamber passes major test

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