Medical Forum
This not an emergency service, in case of a diving incident, please contact your local Coastguard, nearest recompression chamber or emergency services.
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Posted : March 24, 2009
am nearing the end of my rescue diver course. my question is, a diver suffering from DCI, should they be taken first to the nearest hospital for evaluation ortransported to the nearest hyperbaric chamber. the reason i ask, is that in the manual, it states the normal procedure is to transport the victim/patient to the nearest hospital. to me this doesnt make sense!

Posted : March 25, 2009
Good question. If you know they have DCI, then the answer is easy - take them to the nearest chamber, as the earlier recompression treatment is undertaken, the better the result.

The slight caveat comes where the diver is "ill", but you're not sure what the diagnosis is. I would still suggest going to the nearest chamber, for 2 reasons:

- DCI or other dive-related illnesses would still be high on the list

- Dive docs are usually trained in other branches of medicine as well, so can exclude other major diagnoses on site.

Perhaps the manual assumes that every hospital has a hyperbaric chamber, which of course would be great, but there's a long way to go before that happens.

Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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