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  1. ITV Report

Guernsey's hyperbaric chamber taken out of operation

The Committee for Health and Social Care says it must prioritise staff to the emergency department during the pandemic. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Guernsey's Hyperbaric Chamber will be out of action until further notice.

The Health Committee says the chamber requires staff from the Emergency Department to help with decompression treatment, and resources are currently being prioritised to dealing with the current pandemic.

The chamber is used by divers from both Jersey and Guernsey, including scallop divers, to treat health issues like decompression sickness, barotrauma and immersion pulmonary oedema.

However, commercial diving has been suspended during the lockdown period but can be allowed in an emergency.

The Committee warns that emergency planning - such as evacuation plans and provision of first aid - would likely be compromised by the pandemic due to social distancing restrictions and the scarcity of medical resources.

Recreational diving itself is also not considered 'exercise' under the guidelines and has been suspended on direction of bodies including the BSAC, PADI, SAA.

The government warns that any diver, in either Bailiwick, who ignores restrictions will be liable to pay full insurance to be transferred to the UK for medical treatment, as well as any costs associated with the treatment itself.

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