Divers in Hawaii and surrounding islands have been without proper hyperbaric chamber access since the fall of 2017. That has just changed.
University of Hawaii Hyperbaric Treatment Center is now accepting patients on a case-by-case basis.
According to the University of Hawaii Hyperbaric Treatment Center (HTC) Director of Operations, Kurk Jamison, the chamber is in the middle of a “soft opening” and are working with a skeleton crew.l. Mr Jamison wants to make sure the Hawaii diving community knows that they are “here for the divers” and as a diver himself he feels much more comfortable knowing the chamber is open and capable of treating recreational, technical and scientific divers.
DAN has classified HTC’s status as “Questionable” which essentially means “call before bringing a patient over”.
There may be times where the HTC does not have staff available immediately to treat patients. The staff is still working on a Critical Care Patient plan for those divers who experience multiple, complex issues while diving. Mr Jamison did mention that those cases are exceedingly rare and the majority of recreational, technical and scientific divers here in the community will not fall into that category.
The current plan places HTC on a path to be fully staffed and operating 24/7 by March 1st.
We spoke with DAN to confirm the update from the HTC staff. They have confirmed the University of Hawaii Hyperbaric Treatment Center is open on a “Questionable” basis.
As always, if you have symptons of DCI (Decompression Illness) or AGE (Arterial Gas Embolism) your first course of action is to seek immediate medical attention in the form of an Emergency Room. DCI and AGE can only be assessed by a physician and not in the field.