It has been a long time waiting for me, but at last I had the opportunity to visit the Hyperbaric chamber at Bangkok Samui Hospital in Chaweng, located at the ring road.
A view of the Hyperbaric system
In contrast to the hyperbaric chamber in Bang Rak, where I help out as a volunteer, this is a mono chamber. You can see how it looks like on the above picture. It's a thick plexi glass container and the patient gets placed inside, whilst the staff remains outside.
View from the back
Te Hyperbaric department at the Bangkok Samui Hospital is located near the parking area, upon entering the hospital from the parking area, it's immediately in the room at your right hand. When not in operation, curtains will most likely block a view inside the room.
Ready to enter 'the void'
In case you need to enter this hyperbaric chamber for treatment, you will enter through the door, pictured above. A 'bed' will b slid out onto a kind of gurney, the patient will lay down on the bed and the bed is slid into the chamber again. This is pictured below,
The gurney carrier
It's a very simple and basic concept but it works just like any other hyperbaric chamber. In case the patient is claustrophobic, he or she will be transported to the hyperbaric chamber in Bang Rak for further treatment in a less claustrophobic chamber.
The control panel, simple yet effective
The chamber was shown to me by Dr. May, a very pleasant experience and it turned out that Khun May or Dr. May is an avid diver herself, with some 350 dives currently under her belt. See seemed very knowledgeable and interested in hyperbaric treatment and we had a good discussion on various aspects of where hyperbaric treatment is being used nowadays and in general on it's use in diving.
We also agreed that dive instructors should be more knowledgeable about what to do when confronted with potential patients. There's still not enough awareness and understanding of the seriousness of the situation with too many that work in the dive industry. Although this my vary between locations and destinations.
Dr. May on the left side in this picture
Interestingly enough, hyperbaric is finding a much wider medical use nowadays and diving is just a small part of all treatments that can be used with hyperbaric treatment.
As of now, there are 13 indications for HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) which are approved by the FDA;
1. Air/gas embolism
2. Decompression sickness
3. Gas gangrene
4. Carbonmonoxide and cyanide poisoning
5. Selected problem wounds
6. Compartment syndrome and crush injury
7. Exceptional blood loss anemia
8. Necrotizing soft tissue infection
9. Intracranial abscess
10. Thermal burns
11. Refractory osteomyelitis
12. Skin grafts and flaps
13. Soft tissue and bone necrosis from radiation
Many centers also try HBOT with other conditions like stroke, autism, lyme disease etc. but there is no proof of benefits so far.
Very interesting and thanks very much Khun May for the background information, much appreciated.
Hope you found this post interesting and I'm happy that I can now add this hyperbaric chamber to the lit of chambers available on Koh Samui.