[abstract] OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH OF HYPERBARIC MULTIPLACE CHAMBER ATTENDANT: A LITERATURE REVIEW

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[abstract] OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH OF HYPERBARIC MULTIPLACE CHAMBER ATTENDANT: A LITERATURE REVIEW

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Title: [abstract] OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH OF HYPERBARIC MULTIPLACE CHAMBER ATTENDANT: A LITERATURE REVIEW
Author: Pirone, C
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The occupational health and safety of hyperbaric attendants is an important issue for staff of hyperbaric medicine units. This is a review of incidents affecting attendants of hospital based multiplace hyperbaric chambers. METHODS: The literature review was performed using Mediline, manual review of all Pressure and BNA Newsletters, Occupational Health and Safety Database (Osh-ROM), unpublished reports, hyperbaric textbooks, and literature seach of indexed publications in the UHMS Library up to 1997. RESULTS: The incidence of DCI in hyperbaric attendants reported, ranges from 0.01percent to 1.3percent. One study suggests that there is significant risk of DCI in mestruating female hyperbaric attendants. Risk of DCI in attendants is mostly related to depth of pressure exposure. Prevention of DCI by oxygen breathing and rotation of attendants is useful. There has been one death of an inside attendant from DCI. Ear barotrauma is frequently reported but its incidence is unknown. Three cases of inner ear barotruma with long term morbidity are documented. Oxygen toxicity symptoms in nurse attendants is reported, one resulting in a grand mal seizure. Post hyperbaric treatment fatigue and injuries such as cuts, bumps, mask squeeze and fracture are also reported. There was a severe injury resulting from an explosive decompression and three attendant deaths due to fire in a chamber. CONCLUSION: There is a void of research and publications addressing the health issues of hyperbaric attendants. Generally, the occupation of multiplace hyperbaric attendant is safe. Ear barotrauma is probably the most frequent problem in hyperbaric attendants but is under-reported. Standards for medical fitness to dive are written primarily for occupational in-water divers and do not specifically address the requirements of hyperbaric attendants. Further research is required to identify health concerns.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/596
Date: 1998

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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