Chamber (a work in progress) documents the staff, patients and inner workings of the U.K’s decompression chambers and highlighting the various uses of Hyperbaric medicine and its practices.
The decompression chamber, a room or enclosed capsule that is capable of sustaining air pressures greater than one atmosphere simulates depth and is often used in the treatment of pressure related diving injuries such as “The Bends”.
A diving chamber or submersible chamber has two main functions:
- As a simpler form of submersible vessel to take divers underwater and to provide a temporary base and retrieval system in the depths;
- As a land or ship-based hyperbaric chamber to artificially reproduce the conditions of the chamber (like the hospital unit) in which the oxygen pressure is above normal for the atmosphere.
The chamber can also be used in treating breathing disorders or carbon monoxide poisoning as well as treating severe burns victims and sufferers of arthritis.
Decompression sickness (DCS; also historically or colloquially known as divers’ disease, the bends or caisson disease) describes a condition arising from the precipitation of dissolved gasses into bubbles inside the body on depressurisation. DCS most commonly refers to a specific type of scuba diving hazard but may be experienced in other depressurisation events such as caisson working, flying in unpressurised aircraft and extra-vehicular activity from spacecraft. Although DCS is not a common event, its potential severity is such that much research has gone into preventing it and scuba divers use dive tables or dive computers to set limits to their exposure to pressure. Its effects may vary from joint pain and rashes, to paralysis and death. Treatment is by hyperbaric oxygen therapy in arecompression chamber. If treated early, there is a significantly higher chance of success.