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Monthly Briefing June 2024

Many of you will be aware of an essential flooding of the market with hyperbaric chambers designed and built to no known/acceptable code or standard. Several models are manufactured here in the USA. Others are shipped from overseas and commonly escape Customs scrutiny by falsification of their true contents on Bill of Lading documentation. Examples include “stainless steel tank” and “inflatable bag”.

These chambers violate numerous rules, regulations and standards and are considered, among other things, a threat to the safety of occupants and those in proximity. At the present time oversight organizations such as the FDA have not been as active in their interdiction as many would like or expect. Given this situation it’s possible that some CHTs may be unwittingly, or otherwise, involved in the operation of these unapproved chambers. Among other things, this would represent a violation of their CHT Code of Conduct attestation. Recently, a CHT was found to have gone as far as to train lay personnel in their operation, resulting in revocation of his CHT status.

There is sufficient concern within the Board that we are planning to introduce mandatory continuing education addressing this issue. It will take the form of 1.5-2.0 hours of Category A credits that comprehensively review standards related to chamber design, manufacture, interconnection and operation. The Board is most grateful for the shared expertise of Jim Bell, Francois Burman, and Andrew Melnyczenko who have kindly agreed to generate the necessary material. A launch date of January 1, 2025, is anticipated. We are considering the frequency at which this requirement should be repeated during recertification cycles and will let you know our decision in a future Briefing.

Dick Clarke, President

National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology

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Updated April 1, 2024