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    NAMI Hyperbaric Medicine Receives Prestigious Accreditation

    NAMI Hyperbaric Accreditation

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Lieberknecht | 170316-N-AO823-005 PENSACOLA, Fla. (March 16, 2017) – Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class...... read more read more

    While it’s worth noting that the Hyperbaric Medicine Department at Navy Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) passed its most recent recertification on March 6-8, it comes on the heels of a far more significant achievement.
    Achieving a new milestone, the Hyperbaric Medicine Department received the official stamp of approval from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), a certification of competency and credibility that requires a rigorous accreditation process.
    It took three years for the Hyperbaric Medicine Department to earn this certification from the internationally recognized society. A UHMS accreditation means that a facility has met the highest standards of care and patient safety through a rigorous evaluation of facilities, equipment, staff and training to ensure that the utmost quality is maintained. The chamber supports a wide variety of diving units in northwest Florida in addition to providing clinical patient treatments.
    “There are a good number of civilian facilities that have this accreditation; there are a few Army and Air Force chambers,” said Cmdr. Anne Roberts, Hyperbaric Medicine Department Head. “We are the first Navy chamber to get accredited in Florida.”
    Roberts said the NAMI chamber is specifically affiliated with Naval Hospital Pensacola and must adhere to all of its protocol and guidelines. This made navigating the gauntlet of requirements for a UHMS accreditation a familiar process.
    The UHMS was formed in 1967 and serves some 2,000 physicians, scientists, associates and nurses from more than 50 countries in the fields of hyperbaric and dive medicine.
    “This [accreditation] will allow us to demonstrate, using Joint Commission (a non-profit organization committed to improve health care for the public) standards and national patient safety goals, that we meet certain criteria inside the chamber,” said Cmdr. Christopher Davis, NAMI Dive Officer. “This will possibly promote and show other facilities within Navy Medicine to strive for accreditation and treatment of patients up to the UHMS standards.”
    With only a staff of six personnel the chamber’s presence has proved vital. Last year, a patient was brought to the chamber unconscious after a diving incident.
    David Francis, a retired Navy diver who is the Hyperbaric Safety Director, was part of a team that spent eight hours working to stabilize the patient. He was then transferred to West Jefferson Hospital in New Orleans for further treatment. Without the NAMI chamber’s intervention, Francis believes the active duty military member would not be alive.
    “About 30 days later, he came back and thanked us,” Francis said, who also noted that the service member was preparing for retirement at the time of the accident. Also part of the team that helped stabilize the patient was Seaman Sebastian Restrepo, Lt. Michael Williams, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Swanson and Cmdr. Henry Casey.
    Now with its UHMS accreditation, the NAMI hyperbaric chamber is a landmark facility which stands out due to its use for both military and the local community.
    “Most of the Navy chambers are there to support diving operations,” said Francis. “We have a unique situation here.”
    NAMI and the Hyperbaric Medicine Department operate under the command of the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., the global leader in operational medicine, which supports multiple commands throughout the country in training for operational medicine and aviation survival.



    Date Taken: 03.16.2017
    Date Posted: 03.23.2017 12:59
    Story ID: 227845
    Location: PENSACOLA, FL, US

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