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Analyzing Risks: Hyperbaric Emergency Procedures

Analyzing Risks: Hyperbaric Emergency Procedures

Analysis of hyperbaric facility risks is a difficult process. It begins with identifying the hazards in a hyperbaric facility. These hazards could be from a variety of sources: equipment related (e.g. loss of power, loss of gas supply, control system malfunction); operational (e.g. untrained or unprepared staff); medical (e.g. pressure injuries, medical complica- tions); and environmental (e.g. contaminants, external disaster). The actual risks associated with a hazard depend on the probability, frequency, and severity of the potential losses.

At the simplest level, interventions in health care involve the interaction of patient and health care provider. The use of equipment adds complexity to this interaction but is merely an extension of the health care provider’s capabilities. Like all other equipment, the hyperbaric systems required to accomplish HBOT add complexity. However, when HBOT is performed, the pressure of the physical environment is changed. This pressure change has effects on the patient, the health care provider, and the other equipment. Another dimension has been added to the interaction. Understanding this multidimensional interaction between environment, equipment, and people is central to risk assessment and to hyperbaric safety. It is also the reason why hyperbaric safety covers such a broad range of issues.

The interaction of environment, equipment, and people has numerous and varied effects. It is essential to understand how pressure and increased density of gas affect the human body and equipment. It is also essential to understand the nature of fire in a hyperbaric environment and how fire risk is changed in a hyperbaric chamber. Finally, one must be aware of potential medical complications of hyperbaric exposure and understand how the hyperbaric environment affects our ability to provide medical interventions.

Excerpted with permission from the publisher. Source Reference Hyperbaric Facility Safety: A Practical Guide, Second Edition

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Wednesday, 04 October 2023