The ADK Hospital in the capital Malé has established a Hyperbaric Treatment Unit, becoming the first hospital in the Maldives to offer treatment for divers who suffer decompression sickness.
The hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Abdulla Niyaf inaugurated the Hyperbaric Treatment Unit at a special ceremony held on 10 January. Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom attended as Chief Guest and highlighted the importance of having a decompression chamber in a healthcare facility given the country’s popularity as a dive destination.
Decompression chambers were previously only available in four resorts.
The Hyperbaric Treatment Unit can be used for treating serious infections, bubbles of air in blood vessels and wounds that may not heal due to radiation injury or diabetes as well.
Decompression sickness is a condition associated with scuba diving accidents. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised environment. To provide the treatment, the patient is placed inside the chamber. The equipment is then set to deliver increased ambient pressure inside the chamber with a mixture of air and oxygen to deliver the desired oxygen concentration for a duration of time, returning to atmospheric conditions at the end of the treatment cycle. Multiple cycles are often required.
Doctors, nurses and support staff at ADK have been trained to operate the Hyperbaric Treatment Unit.