monoplace fire safety protocol
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10/12/2012 at 11:12:13 PM GMT
Posts: 7
monoplace fire safety protocol

We are revising our monoplace safety protocols, I was wondering if anyone could give some advice?  If a chamber is on fire and staff have pulled the fire alarm and are emergency venting the patient, standing by with fire extinguisher for when chamber is decompressed...

Meanwhile, the other patients in the other chambers NOT on fire are surely very distressed and wanting out ASAP...what is your protocol for bringing out those other patients (I understand that you can't open their chambers anyway until the chamber/patient on fire has been fully extinguished), but what rate do you bring them out at?  It basically takes the same amount of time to bring the patient out at a rate of 5 psi as it does to just turn the O2 control to off and let them ascend that way.  If you ascend them at a rate of 5 psi, you can just let them hover at 1 psi until you can get them out (if you have 2 patients to get out and only one extra staff member); if you turn the O2 to "off" and let them ascend that way wouldn't you have to turn on their air mask in case you couldn't get them out immediately (they would be w/o O2 and asphyxiate at surface, unless their air mask was on).

Would anyone be willing to let us look at their facility policy on chamber fire or have any opinion on this, does anyone see any safety issue ascending the patients (not on fire) using either way?


10/24/2012 at 11:23:11 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Monoplace fire safety protocol

Hi Lisa,

You bring an interesting question to the table, thanks for sharing! NFPA 99 2012 edition B.14.3 Suggested procedures for Hyperbaric Chamber Operator to Follow in Event of Fire in Class B Chambers does not provide the level of detail you are asking for. In my opinion what you are getting at is how many staff members does it take to handle a worst case event.

Staffing is addressed in Rules and regulations, The number of chambers and type of treatments, the layout of the room, level of experiance and training all affect staffing. Emergency Depressurization and Facility Evacuation Capability has value to this discussion as the requirement is for timed drills. It is important to work through drills as you are doing to discover how many staff, per chambers in use.

In the scene you provided; I would evacuate all chambers as fast as possible and would not hold the un involved chambers at pressure, rather get the patients out and evacuated to a place of safety

Stop the flow of oxygen to the chamber with the fire inside. Decompress the chamber as rapidly as possible, call the code (or 911, get help coming)  have a fire extinguisher ready, remove the patient and evacuate, closing the zone valves as you leave the department...this does not preclude getting the un involved chambers out (as above) and agin I would not wait to do so. This list is not in a specific order each scenario may work out abit differently.  There has been much discussion on whether to call for help firts in our department or respond to the fire.  I would argue that with adequate stafing you can do both at the same time.

Yes we would be willing to share our procedure ( attached).






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12/4/2012 at 9:34:40 PM GMT
Posts: 3

Steve Fabus called today and may yet jump in with his comments.  It is important to note that what I meant by "stop the supply to the chamber" meant...switch to emergency vent and decompress the chamber ( as in the attached policy).  Many monoplace assemblies require a minimum supply pressure to work.  If you shut off the zone valve to the chamber then the chamber will not have enough supply pressure to operate the emergency vent.   Tnanks Steve for the catch...