Government has sought a Hyperbaric Chamber to assist members of the Dive Community, according to Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Alexandra Otway-Noel.
Speaking to reporters at a recent post-Cabinet press briefing held at the Ministerial Complex, the senior government minister said the equipment will be used to prevent diseases like The Bends from happening to sea fishing divers and to treat people who come down with The Bends.
According to a search conducted on Google.Com, the normal atmospheric condition we all experience on dry land is called Normobaric pressure and when divers go under the surface, the pressure of the water and air above them increases with depth.
This additional pressure causes several changes in the way a human body processes blood gases like Oxygen and Nitrogen and if a diver surfaces too quickly, the gases in the blood can convert to bubbles and cause a very dangerous situation called The Bends
This procedure in the Hyperbaric Chamber allows the nitrogen in the bubbles to escape naturally, leaving only absorbable oxygen.
Otway-Noel spoke of the jubilation of the one-year old New National Party (NNP) government to purchase the equipment.
“We are so excited about that because I had a young man who I knew from the south who died from the Bends so it has been a personal mission to ensure that we have that Hyperbaric Chamber sorted out,” she said.
The government minister expressed her gratefulness for the private-run, St Augustine Medical Services (SAMS) at St. Paul’s for agreeing to house the equipment.
“It’s a very expensive piece of equipment to run and we are looking forward to having it run, having one locally, because we know that anybody who gets The Bends, we had to fly them out and sometimes we can’t fly out because of difference in pressure in the airplane,” she said.
“We are very excited that we will be getting this Chamber and we’ll be able to assist anyone who runs into trouble with The Bends.
“So from the perspective of our Dive Association, they are very pleased because we are a first class dive destination here in Grenada and offering that service is only going to make it better.