Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

What kind of physician is a specialist in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine?

A physician would first be specialized in Emergency Medicine. In this certification, he is well trained to make a decision quickly, and take action to prevent death or further damage in emergency situations.

He is able to direct and stabilize a patient who may have an acute illness or injury.

Upon certification in the emergency medicine field, the physician will further specialize in undersea and hyperbaric medicine.

With this training, a hyperbaric specialist would be versed in using a hyperbaric chamber to treat many conditions. No longer limited to decompression accidents most associated with diving accidents, hyperbaric medicine is also a tool that has many applications. The many uses of this tool continue to expand its function in life saving procedures such as the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, damage to tissue from radiation, or infections of the bone to name a few.1

What special training is a doctor required to complete, to be Board certified in the field of Hyperbaric Medicine?

Physicians who apply through ABEM must be currently certified with the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

The physician must satisfy the ABEM Policy on Medical Licensure, as well as complete fellowship training that consist of 12 months in accredited program of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.

If the curriculum is longer than 12 months, the physician must complete all years of education for which the program is accredited in order to meet the Board’s fitness criteria for certification.2

What kind of treatment does a Hyperbaric Physician provide?

  • Treats decompression illness
  • Dving accident cass
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Gas gangrene
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Tissue damage from radiation
  • Burns
  • Bone infections

A Hyperbaric Physician would also act as a consultant to other doctors in all facets of hyperbaric chamber processes, evaluates risks and employs suitable standards to avert illness and ill health in divers and other individuals working in different atmospheric conditions.3

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1 http://certificationmatters.org/abms-member-boards/emergency-medicine.aspx
2 http://www.abem.org/PUBLIC/_Rainbow/Documents/EligibilityCriteria2011UHM.pdf
3 http://certificationmatters.org/abms-member-boards/emergency-medicine.aspx