The proposed NHS cut in hyperbaric treatment for some non-diving conditions has potential knock on effects for rapid and effective DCI treatment for divers. Reducing the treatment for other conditions reduces the need for chambers.
If the consultation period from 17th January to 14th February recommends reducing the number of NHS chambers from 10 to 8, then travel times for divers requiring rapid, emergency recompression could increase.
Longer travel times before recompression reduce the effectiveness of treatment. Less effective initial treatment means further hyperbaric sessions, with increased cost to NHS and a greater chance of long term damage remaining in the diver.
In a future scenario, if the NHS closes these chambers, then they would not be available to alternative private operators and private insurance providers (such as DAN) who divers may use to replace the current free NHS emergency service.
NHS England conducted a consultation on this in April 2016. There are 16 comments by members of the public that you might find useful.
Please follow THIS LINK and tell NHS England why we need all of our hyperbaric chambers.
• Why there is a golden hour for treatment for decompression sickness
• Why delay to treatment can affect how a diver reponds to treatment
• Why if one chamber is in use, that it is not possible to add another patient, so having an alternative chamber close by is important
• Why hyperbaric chambers are not just for divers - they are vital for the treatment of gas gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning, crush injuries, burn victims, diabetic ulcers and necrotising fasciitis
• That Hyperbaric Oxygen helps improve the outcome and shorten the treatment needed, freeing up beds
• That scrapping Hyperbaric Oygen will lead to higher costs in treatment in the longer term
HBO (hyperbaric oyxgen) treatments save limbs, save lives, save money.
Please do this as soon as possible, then ask your friends and divers to also respond to this consultation. Thank you.