Alfred adds new monoplace hyperbaric chambers to its state of the art hyperbaric facility.
On 19/5/14, after many years of planning and fund-raising, the Alfred opened its new monoplace hyperbaric facility to complement the state of the art multiplace chambers.
The new facility, located on the second floor of the outpatients block, is connected to the main hyperbaric facility via a door through to the mezzanine floor of the main facility. This effectively means that the two are collocated, minimising the need for duplication of staff and equipment that would result from geographically remote locations. The synergies created between the two also minimizes the additional space requirements.
Initially, the monoplace facility will have 2 monoplace chambers, but it has been designed to easily expand to a four monoplace facility in the future with minimal structural requirements.
The Alfred is the State Service provider for Hyperbaric medicine and this project has delivered a modern, best practice facility that will be able to treat an increased number of ambulant outpatients from our community. By providing state of the art multi-place and monoplace facilities, the Victorian Community will be able to be served, without requiring large increases in staffing, particularly by nurses required to be in-chamber attendants.
There is a limit to how often nurses can be submitted to pressure inside the multi-place chambers. The monoplace chambers do not require a nurse to be an in-chamber attendant, and this therefore means that our nurses now can perform many more treatments as they are not limited by the requirement to be inside the chamber, nor the frequency with which this can be carried out.
The Hyperbaric Unit has been heavily involved in research including the areas of carbon monoxide poisoning and crush injuries to the lower limb. The monoplace chambers will provide significant advantages for research purposes as less staff are required to provide this service.
The addition of the monoplace chambers will enable increased throughput of patients during normal working hours on weekdays with minimal increases in staffing whilst enhancing our ability to provide 24/7 facilities for emergencies.
The patients most suitable for treatment in the monoplace chambers are likely to be those with diabetic non- healing wounds and the various forms of radionecrosis.
Cleaning after a patient with a multi-resistant organism will be much easier compared to the multiplace chamber and will not delay the treatment of multiple other patients as it does now.
Further, it will enable us to treat emergency, ventilated, critically ill patients in the multiplace chambers, without disrupting the treatment of elective patients, who will be able to be treated simultaneously in the monoplace chambers.
The new facility was built at a cost of nearly $1M which was generously provided by the Alfred Foundation.
We anticipate that this exciting expansion of skills and provision of a comprehensive service will also lead to increased recruitment and retention of staff to the Hyperbaric Unit.
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