Despite being well-trained and experienced, diving accidents do happen. While we are able to put many mechanisms in place to protect ourselves, sometimes these are not enough and we need help. Here in Fiji, there is a dedicated team standing by to help in such an emergency and there are some necessary steps you should follow to assist them with their efforts.
If a member of your crew suddenly feels ill after having dived – place the patient on Oxygen before you do anything.
Do not presume that oxygen will be available in your location, and you should always have enough oxygen onboard to be able to administer for 4-5 hours (two E size tanks should be adequate). Note: BOC Fii Ltd located in Suva and Vuda can refill your oxygen tanks.
Follow the Accident Management Flow Chart:
CWM Hyperbaric Unit
The Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) Hyperbaric Unit operates every day on week days with routine hyperbaric treatments. They have a 24hr emergency call list for emergencies after hours and weekends.
On arrival at the hospital, please report to the emergency room, where a hyperbaric staff member will meet and assist you.
What does ‘Activate Chamber Alert’ mean?
When you initiated the Hyperbaric Chamber Alert, the Hyperbaric Unit will have put all personnel on a state of readiness i.e. The Chamber, Ambulances and the quickest method for MEDEVAC will be on standby in readiness to depart. The Ministry of Health Doctor and Hyperbaric Chamber Doctor must authorise all patients Medevac, and treatment at the Hyperbaric Unit.
If air evacuation is used, IT MUST BE ARRANGED BY THE HYPERBARIC UNIT and the patient should remain on oxygen throughout. It is critical that the patient not be exposed to decreased barometric pressure at altitude. Flight crews must fly at the lowest safe altitude in un-pressurised aircraft. CAAF have agreed 500 feet weather permitting.
It is essential that you personally ask the pilot to confirm he has been briefed on this critically important aspect.
Your medivac will land on the CWM roof heli-pad where treatment will be done at the hyperbaric unit at CWM.