Divers often drive past legitimate healthcare facilities in an effort to get to a recompression chamber. Even when divers surface with clear symptoms of an arterial gas embolism, the treatment of choice is the local emergency medical service (EMS) and hospital. Your best option is to use existing emergency services for an injured diver.
If you suspect a diver has a dive-related injury and needs evaluation, you should safely do the following:
Chambers may close for scheduled maintenance, staff vacation or a limited staff because of a high daytime patient treatment load. The chamber you are driving to may not be available. Prior notification from an evaluating facility is usually necessary to begin the call-in procedure to staff a hyperbaric treatment. Most hyperbaric facilities have regular daytime business hours and are not staffed in the evenings and on weekends. In fact, some chamber facilities choose not to staff their unit after hours and do not wish to treat divers. Most divers with possible cases of decompression illness report to facilities for evaluation after normal business hours.
If you are uncertain about symptoms that occur hours or days after diving and there is no emergency, or if you wish to ask questions about medical issues or diving injuries, contact the DAN Medical Information Line at +1-919-684-2948, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
Apply to become part of DAN's chamber facility referral network.