Hyperbaric Chamber in Barbados

Dr Michael Brown with us at the Hyperbaric Chamber in Barbados

Barbados Defence Force hyperbaric chamber

Duration 24 minutes 5 seconds

We visit the Barbados Defence Force Garrison to meet Dr Michael Brown who is in charge of the Islands hyperbaric chamber.

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When a person scuba dives they generally use a cylinder of compressed air to breath from, although for deep dives or specific reasons, compressed air can be replaced by special mixes of gasses.   Due to the nature of diving, the diver is at pressure underwater and the deeper they go, the more pressure they are under.   A diver is limited to the depth and amount of time he can spend underwater without having to allow a certain period of time to elapse at a certain depth to allow nitrogen to expel from his body otherwise he may suffer from “The Bends” or decompression sickness.

Barbados is one of the few countries in the Caribbean which operates a hyperbaric chamber seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.

The hyperbaric chamber is located at the garrison of the Barbados Defence Force on the outskirts of Bridgetown and is provided & funded by them.

Dr Michael Brown is an english doctor with over twenty-four years of experience with treating divers suffering from DCS or decompression sickness and has a dedicated team available 24 hours a day to treat divers suspected of a DCS problem.

We talk with Dr Brown about the history of diving & DCS and learn of the pioneering work in the early 1900’s of Professor John Scott Haldane, and also learn about what happens to a diver who is brought in for treatment.

Dr Brown shows us the current chamber installed and talks about the many other uses that a hyperbaric chamber has medically – including the treatment of sickle cell, burns, diabetes and ulcers.

Info on scuba diving was granted access to the facility by Colonel Alvin Quintyne, Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defense Authority and we are extremely grateful to him for this rare insight into the operation of a hyperbaric chamber.

UPDATE: We were recently emailed by someone in Grenada whos brother had suffered a bend and she was asking us about the costs of getting to and being treated at the chamber in Barbados.

PLEASE, IF YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE IS SUSPECTED OF HAVING A BEND CONTACT YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICES! – We are an internet tv channel and do not have emergency resources. Time is critical!

Other videos to choose from in this section are:

Interview with Hightide Watersport at Dive 2008, diving in Barbados part one, Turtle conservation, Huntes Gardens, Neville Crawford – local artist, Shirley who runs a food hut at Oistins Market & Mount Gay Rum.
Or select from the menu on the left, other videos related to scuba diving.

Shortly there will be other segments here with reports on diving in Barbados part 2 & other visitor attractions – so check back soon!


Anyone that suspects they are in need of treatment at the chamber in Barbados should telephone 4365483 – this number is ONLY for diving emergencies in Barbados.

For diving emergencies in the UK, The London Diving Chamber, provides a 24 hour advice line and NHS funded recompression for divers in the UK, London.