CHAPTER 21 Recompression Therapy
Change A 21-35
Secondary Emergency Kit. The secondary emergency kit contains equipment and
medicine that does not need to be available immediately, but can be locked-in
when required. This kit shall be stored in the vicinity of the chamber.
Portable Monitor-Defibrillator. Only commands having recompression chambers
with a Medical Officer or ACLS trained Diving Medical Technician/Independent
Duty Corpsman assisted shall maintain a portable monitor-defibrillator and those
drugs required by the American Heart Association for ACLS. These drugs need to
be in sufficient quantities to support an event requiring Advanced Cardiac Life
Support. These drugs/equipment are not required to be in every dive kit when
multiple chambers/kits are present in a single command.
Use of Emergency Kits. Unless adequately sealed against increased atmospheric
pressure, sterile supplies should be resterilized after each pressure exposure, or, if
not exposed, at six-month intervals. Drugs shall be replaced when their expiration
date is reached. Not all drug ampules will withstand pressure. Stoppered multidose
vials should be vented with a needle during pressurization and then discarded if
Modification of Emergency Kits. Because the available facilities may differ on
board ship, at land-based diving installations, and at diver training or experimental
units, the responsible Diving Medical Officer or Diving Medical Technician will
have to modify the emergency kits to suit the local needs. Both kits should be
taken to the recompression chamber or scene of the accident. Each kit is to contain
a list of contents. Each time the kit is opened, it shall be inventoried and each item
checked for proper working order and then re-sterilized. Sterile supplies are to be
provided in duplicate so that one set can be autoclaved while the other resides in
the kit. The kits on-hand are inventoried, unopened, at four-month intervals.
Normally, use of the emergency kit is to be restricted to the medical personnel.
Concise instructions for administrating each drug are to be provided in the kit
along with current American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life-Support
Protocols. In untrained hands, many of the items can be dangerous. Remember
that as in all treatments YOUR FIRST DUTY IS TO DO NO HARM.