The Ministry of Health today hailed as a “milestone in Antigua and Barbuda’s medical history” the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the first time.
The technology was at the Mount St. John’s Medical Center during the early hours of the morning on Monday, August 1st, 2018.
The hyperbaric oxygen therapy was used to treat decompression sickness, commonly known as “the bends”, in a 27-year-old diver from Urlings Village.
It was delivered through a hyperbaric chamber that was installed at the hospital earlier this year through a philanthropic donation from the Calvin Ayre Foundation.
The donation not only included the purchase and installation of the chamber but also training for doctors, nurses and technicians at the hospital.
These healthcare providers were able to utilize their new skills in Monday morning’s life-saving exercise.
Prior to the hyperbaric chamber being used in Antigua and Barbuda, divers who contracted decompression sickness or “the bends”, a life-threatening complication of diving, would succumb to the illness.
The Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment is expressing gratitude to the Calvin Ayre Foundation for their donation that will potentially save the lives of divers in Antigua and Barbuda. Appreciation is also extended the doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare workers at the Mount St. John’s Medical Center.
Over the last three years, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has overseen the country’s first kidney transplant, the first cardiac pacemaker insertion, the first use of a bloodmobile unit, the first community pediatric specialty clinic and now the first use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Mount St. John’s Medical Center.
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