Divers urged to resort to proper diving procedures

May 5, 2022 5:10 am

A man diving. [File Photo]

Fiji records 20 to 30 cases of diving bends annually.

Diving bend, or decompression sickness, is a medical condition caused by dissolved gases emerging from solution as bubbles inside the body tissues during decompression.

Considering the cases of bends, the government recently purchased a brand new $600,000 worth hyperbaric chamber to be implemented at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital to assist with the treatment of these cases.

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The ministry has also advised divers to resort to proper diving procedures and equipment.

Injured divers were usually treated at a private chamber until 2000, when the hospital rented a chamber from Hyperbaric Health Australia, which was implemented at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Since the implementation of the chamber, local divers have usually been treated free at the unit while tourists paid for the service.

CWMH medical superintendent Doctor Luke Nasedra says they also had a few cases of complications from radiotherapy that was conducted overseas.

In 2019 the Health Ministry purchased a new chamber from Brazil which is currently being installed and staff training is being conducted for a week before patient treatment commences to ensure proper safety is guaranteed.