CHAPTER 21 Recompression Therapy
Change A 21-31
or NDSTC for decompression procedures for the total time since treatment began
and the maximum depth attained. The shortest procedure should be used. The
exception is Treatment Table 7; the appropriate abort procedure for Table 7 is
discussed in paragraph 21-188.8.131.52.
Oxygen Breathing Periods During Abort Procedure. The air decompression
schedule used in recompression treatment aborts is modified by having all
chamber occupants begin breathing oxygen as soon as a depth of 30 feet or shal-
lower is reached. Oxygen-breathing periods of 25 minutes on oxygen, followed by
5 minutes on air, are continued until the total time on oxygen is one-half or more
of the total decompression time. This procedure may be used even if gases other
than air (i.e., nitrogen-oxygen or helium-oxygen mixtures) were breathed during
treatment. Upon surfacing, chamber occupants are treated as if they had surfaced
from a normal dive.
Impending Natural Disasters or Mechanical Failures. Impending natural disas-
ters or mechanical failures may require aborting treatments. For instance, the ship
where the chamber is located may be in imminent danger of sinking or a fire or
explosion may have severely damaged the chamber system to such an extent that
completing the treatment is impossible. In these cases, the abort procedure
described above could be used for all chamber occupants (including the stricken
diver) if time is available. If time is not available, the following may be done:
If deeper than 60 feet, go immediately to 60 feet.
Once the chamber is 60 feet or shallower, put all chamber occupants on con-
tinuous 100 percent oxygen.
Follow as much of the air decompression schedule (for maximum depth and
total time) as possible, breathing 100 percent oxygen continuously.
When no more time is available, bring all chamber occupants to the surface
(try not to exceed 10 feet per minute) and keep them on 100 percent oxygen
during evacuation, if possible.
Immediately evacuate all chamber occupants to the nearest recompression
facility and treat according to Figure 21-5. If no symptoms occurred after the
treatment was aborted, follow Treatment Table 6.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
Every diving activity shall maintain emergency medical equipment that will be
available immediately for use at the scene of a diving accident (Figure 21-2). This
equipment is to be in addition to any medical supplies maintained in a medical
treatment facility and shall be kept in a kit small enough to carry into the chamber,
or in a locker in the immediate vicinity of the chamber.
Primary Emergency Kit. Because some sterile items may become contaminated
as a result of a hyperbaric exposure, it is desirable to have a primary kit for imme-