SMCRI acquired a new fully functional Hyperbaric Chamber that has been installed at the Ocean Science Campus of the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
Twelve 50L air-banks, configured (2 x 6) for redundancy and connected to a digitally programmed and fully automated highpressure (HP) compressor support the chamber unit. The chamber comprises an entry lock (2-man sitting) and the larger main lock (8-man sitting or 2-man supine) for the purposes of getting medical personnel or patient assistants into or out of the chamber whilst keeping the diver or occupants at constant uninterrupted pressure. Both locks are fitted with oxygen bibs which are fed by their own separate oxygen supply with external exhausts. The chamber comes complete with internal cameras, lighting, two way communications, state of the art gas analysers that constantly monitor O2 and CO2 accumulation as well as internal CO2 scrubbing devices. It is also equipped with a pressurised medical hatch to transfer medication or food to occupants under pressure without interruption.
There has not been a functional hyperbaric chamber in the Eastern Cape for a number of years and the chamber will be operated as a 24 hr emergency facility available to the entire diving community (scientific, commercial, search and rescue and recreational). The chamber will also be used for scientific diver training (Class V and IV) by the two research diver training schools based at the Nelson Mandela University and the University of Cape Town.