Local hyperbaric center stresses decompression treatment to divers

The Medical Director at Phoebe's Hyperbaric Center says after scuba diving, some need between four hours and eight hours of recompression treatment

Medical officials say there are two types of decompression sickness, but both require recompression treatments in a hyperbaric chamber.

"Nobody's going to disown you because you got the flu, nobody's going to disown you if you get decompression sickness but you want to be treated so you can get back to your full function," says Medical Director of Phoebe's Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center Thomas Bozzuto, who is also a diver himself.

The center, he says, doesn't see a lot of patients.

"When I went to visit both of the dive shops, nobody had ever been over here to see what a hyperbaric chamber looks like," says Bozzuto.

But after an open house on Tuesday, Bozzuto says he hopes that changes as more people learn about the center that is even available 24-7 to help divers who have decompression sickness.

"I got new information or more information that I can pass on to my students about decompression sickness: How to prevent it and how to treat it," says Phyllis Crumb, instructor with Adventure Dive Center.

While the facility offers a hyperbaric chamber to help with decompression sickness, but officials also say fitness and training, especially cardiac training also help prevent decompression sickness.

"There's about 58 medical conditions which make itâ| I don't want to say fatal, but a little more dangerous to dive," says Bozzuto.

He says while some decompression sickness symptoms like localized pain may go away, it's still important that divers are knowledgeable on prevention and treatment methods.

"It's important to have events like this weather it's for diving or horseback riding or skydiving or anything and it's just because you can avoid a lot of accidents by keeping people informed," says Crumb.

Medical experts say some insurance companies don't cover treatments for "hazardous avocation" like diving, so check with them before you dive or are treated for decompression sickness.

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