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Commercial Diving Accident Management





This course is a one-hour video lecture course. It consists of educational slides with an audio recording of Dr. Keith Van Meter, MD as he delivers the lecture. Dr. Van Meter discusses the utility of immediate, short, intervally-spaced hyperbaric oxygen therapy in resuscitative treatment of acute wounds and trauma.

Four commercial diving accident cases are presented to illustrate that severely injured patients, expected to need trauma center management, may be successfully treated in remote, medically-primitive, pre-hospital settings and be definitely stabilized by oxygen therapy in the field. Immediate post-injury hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the site of the accident and continuation of the same at short intervals until wound stabilization is key.

Goals of this course are to:

  • Discuss high-yield patient recovery results following immediate, short-interval hyperbaric oxygen administered at accident site and upon arrival for entry into hospital’s chain of care.
  • Demonstrate that successful hyperbaric oxygen therapy, in effect, “DOPES” (delivered oxygen pressure establishing survival) the plasma with enough dissolved oxygen to promote traumatic reperfusion injury resolution.
  • Present laboratory animal verification by randomized, controlled studies of similar, very favorable recovery as described in clinical human injury resuscitated by hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

About the Lecturer

Keith-Van-Meter-MDKeith Van Meter, MD received his MD from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1973. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine with subspecialty board certification in Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. He is a Professor of Medicine at LSUHSC and a Professor of Surgery at Tulane University School of Medicine. He is the Section Chief for Emergency Medicine at LSUHSC in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the Medical Director of the WJMC Hyperbaric Medicine Unit. He is the Medical Director of the Baromedical Research Institute Hyperbaric Laboratory in New Orleans, Louisiana. In private practice, he has treated over 600 commercial divers in the Gulf of Mexico who suffered from acute DCS or AGE. He is a recipient of several honors granted by the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS): the Albert R. Behnke Award, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Award, the Craig Hoffman Award, and the Charles Shilling Award. He was a member of the UHMS Board of Directors from 1985-1989 and from 2002-2008.

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