Treatment costs for UK residents who are eligible for NHS services will be covered by the NHS. Non UK Residents or residents who are not eligible for NHS services will need diving insurance in place.
Q. How is it decided if I need treatment?
The diver will be assessed as to what type of treatment is need by a Diving specialist doctor, with information gathered from all involved in the incident. The diver and buddy’s account of the incident, the dive computer logged profiles and the emergency services will help the doctor with this process.
Q. Who will be running the treatment?
The chamber team is on call 24/7 and consists of a Diving Doctor, Chamber supervisor, chamber operator and an internal attendant. Each will be on hand throughout the treatment.
Q. How long is the treatment?
In most cases needing recompression, Treatments would last 4¾ hours, but this may vary depending on the nature of the DCI or response to the treatment, and may need to be extended by 2¾ hours. This could be followed up by additional treatments. These are carried usually carried out on subsequent days and are usually shorter treatment tables.
Q. What will I wear during the treatment?
For safety reasons suitable cotton scrubs and footwear will be provided for the duration of the treatment. All personal clothing and items will be stored until after the treatment.
Q. Can I eat and drink during the treatment?
There will be limited opportunities to eat and drink throughout the treatment. Water and other refreshments will be provided. In more severe cases where hydration is needed, an intravenous drip may be inserted.
Q. What happens during the treatment?
After being assessed by the diving doctor, and getting changed into the scrubs, the internal attendant will accompany the diver into the chamber. Once comfortable, the doors will be sealed and compression will begin. The internal attendant will monitor the diver and encourage equalisation of the ears. The chamber will become noisy as it’s compressed to 18m. Once at depth, the internal attendant will assist with fitting the O2 bibs, this will remain on throughout the treatment with set times for an air break. This is the opportunity to drink, eat, or go to the toilet. It’s also the opportunity to ask or answer any questions by the diving doctor. The treatment will be monitored via video and audio communications by the team outside operating the chamber. If the diver responds well to the treatment, they will arrive slowly at the surface.
Q. What happens after the treatment?
The diver will be reassessed to see if further treatment is needed. Usually the doctor will also want to review you the following day.
Q. Will I be able to dive again and when?
The doctor will give you written advice on discharge and also write to your GP. Both of these will give advice as to future diving.
Q. What will happen once I’m discharged?
You will be given written and verbal information regarding the treatment you have received, advice about any further medical assessment required, and about your future diving. You will also be given a contact number should you require any further help or advice.
Q. Can I travel after my treatment?
You will be advised about this by the doctor who treats you. There are particular issues about flying after DCI.
Q. When can I resume normal activity after DCI?
The doctor treating you will discuss this with you. It will depend on the nature of the incident, your recovery and the activity.