|A decompression chamber is a pressure vessel used to place a diver back
under pressure in a safe environment out of water. Chambers vary in size,
holding from one diver to a dozen or more, for hyperbaric treatments. A
decompression chamber (sometimes called recompression or hyperbaric oxygen
therapy chamber) is needed on site whenever a diver has incurred a
decompression penalty and has to stop on the way to the surface to expel
excess nitrogen. These pictures were taken at Dr. Schmutz Hyperbaric Clinic
in Basel, one of the few centres in Switzerland to offer hyperbaric
treatments. Luckily it is not often ‘occupied’ by patients, so many
recreational divers can ‘enjoy’ the thrills of a simulated deep dive (e.g.
57 meters below the surface), gaining experience and improving techniques in
preventing decompression sickness. The decompression chamber in Basel can
take up to 10 seated divers or 3 resting. But it’s not recommended for
people suffering from claustrophobia! Once the chamber is pressurised, the
sealed doors can’t be opened again until all safety checks have been
completed, a procedure taking up to one hour.