Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.
In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.
Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.
The chamber is available for treatment after referral by the diving medical doctor on duty for diving accidents and by the hospital medical doctor for wound treatment.
On the symptoms page, one can find the procedure for emergencies in diving accidents.
A recompression chamber is a room where different ambient pressures can be simulated. The room is connected to a ventilation system for sufficient oxygen. The ambient pressure can be monitored via compressors or pumps as desired.
What do you need a recompression chamber for?
The recompression chamber is needed to treat decompression sickness. If there is reason to suspect that a diver during his dive on Bonaire ascended too quickly and that he has suffered damages from insufficient pressure compensation, he is put into this chamber. De diver is put under pressure according to different treatment protocols. The symptoms should diminish or even disappear completely. After a set time period in the chamber, the doctor reduces the pressure slowly back to a normal level. By doing so, the diver can get used to the normal ambient pressure again and the body dissipates the gases that were released into the blood.
This treatment can last for several hours. It is important that a doctor looks after the diver permanently. The diver must still remain under observation for a few hours after the end of the treatment as well.
Before you start diving, please make sure that you know where the recompression chamber is located.