The project was the relocation of an existing Hyperbaric Medical unit, with its advanced life support recompression chamber, from its former site in the Royal Haslar Naval Hospital in Portsmouth Harbour to a new purpose built unit at St Richards Hospital.
The unit’s primary use is to provide the current emergency pressurisation treatment required in diving accidents in the Solent and Southern Coastal areas.
The units comprises of the recompression chamber, resuscitation treatment space, examination, medical staff rooms and servicing areas including compressor room and gas cylinder storage.
The 19 cubic metre pressurised chamber can accommodated five patients sitting, two lying down or three sitting and one lying down. Its maximum pressure setting is 8.5 bar – equivalent to a depth of 85 metres at sea.
The chamber with its support suite has been located in a courtyard adjacent to the existing Sea King helicopter landing pad at the hospital to aid in the transfer of patients air lifted from vessels at sea.
Due to this courtyard location many logistical challenges arose during the initial design regarding the physical installation of the chamber and accoustic and servicing problems affecting the surrounding clinical areas. The roof to the unit has been installed with a central removable section to allow the removal and replacement of the chamber.