Vol 69, No 1 (2018)
Review article
Published online: 2018-03-28

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Health effects of hyperbaric exposure on chamber attendants: a literature review

Richard Pougnet12, Laurence Pougnet123, David Lucas1, Anne Henckes1, Brice Loddé12, Jean-Dominique Dewitte12
Pubmed: 29611615
IMH 2018;69(1):58-62.


Background: Inside attendants working in hyperbaric chambers are exposed to risks related to the hyperbaric environment, handling and care. The aim of this study is to review the literature focusing on the impact of this activity on health.

Materials and methods: This is a literature review using the Medline database.

Results: Eight articles studied decompression illness (DCI). The incidence of DCI ranged from 0 to 37 per 100,000 sessions in hyperbaric chambers (SHC). The incidence of injuries ranged from 0 to 412 per 100,000 SHC. The most prevalent cause of accidental death was fire: 77 deaths (patients and attendants) between 1923 and 1996. Dysbaric osteonecrosis has been reported in one study only.

Conclusions: Inside attendants face risks in the chamber, even if serious health effects seems rare compared to the total number of SHC.

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