Facility to treat ‘the bends’ to be established in SVG
Hyperbaric Chamber
February 27, 2024
Facility to treat ‘the bends’ to be established in SVG

The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), is in the process of sourcing a Hyperbaric Chamber from the United Kingdom to be able to offer treatment locally to persons with decompression sickness, commonly known as “the bends.”

Assurance of this was given by Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, St Clair Prince, in response to a question in Parliament last Thursday February, 22, 2024.

The illness occurs when there is a rapid decrease in the pressure that surrounds a person, who is either in the air or in water.

The Health Minister said that between 2017 and 2023, some 18 cases of decompression sickness were recorded at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), in Kingstown.

Cases of decompression sickness which are not treated swiftly with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, often result in the patient suffering paralysis.

At present, persons in St Vincent and the Grenadines requiring such treatment have to be flown overseas for treatment.

Minister Prince disclosed that a UK company, Submarine Manufacturing Products, won the bid to supply the hyperbaric chamber to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

He said arrangements for payment are being finalized, and the site is being prepared for this important piece of medical equipment.