Center for Hyperbaric Medicine re-accredited “with distinction”

Hyperbaric chamber at HCMC
Hyperbaric chamber at HCMC

Congratulations to the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine for recently achieving re-accreditation “with distinction” from the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS)!

In addition to being the accrediting agency for hyperbaric chambers recognized by The Joint Commission, the UHMS is the primary source of scientific information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide.

HCMC’s 2-day survey took place in March and included over 600 checkpoints for the program, resulting in re-accreditation “with distinction” which means the program can be called a “Center of Excellence.”

HCMC has the only multi-chamber hyperbaric oxygen facility in the region that’s used for 24/7 emergency treatment of critically ill patients: usually victims of carbon monoxide exposure or life-threatening infections, but also cerebral gas embolism and decompression sickness (“the bends”).

Congratulations to everyone on the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine team for this excellent achievement!

Winter weather means outdoor fun — and a reminder about indoor safety

It’s colorless and odorless, and it claims the lives of more than 400 people in the United States every year. It’s carbon monoxide (CO), and it can be found in the exhaust of gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns or by burning charcoal and wood.

Some of the symptoms of CO poisoning include nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, fainting and confusion — symptoms that are similar to — and often mistaken for — stomach flu.

“But if there’s a CO source, and others are also feeling ill,  CO should be the first suspect,” explains Dr. Cheryl Adkinson, Medical Director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine at HCMC.  “Don’t dismiss the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. You should get medical help right away if you think you’ve been exposed to this deadly gas.”

For those who plan on doing a little fishing once the lakes are frozen, it’s important to know that carbon monoxide poisoning can set in within a few minutes in a small, heated and confined space like an ice house.

Make sure you enjoy the great winter weather — but don’t let carbon monoxide poisoning or any other safety concern get in the way! Visit hcmc.org/outdoors for more information about how to avoid CO poisoning and keep those outdoor activities safe.