Plymouth based hyperbaric medicine charity DDRC will soon be taking over the staffing of the British Hyperbaric Associationís (BHA) National Diving Accident Helpline on 07831 151 523. This emergency number is used nationally and internationally by divers, dive clubs, dive centres, the Coastguard, Emergency Departments, GPs and members of the public to gain assistance in emergency situations where Decompression Illness or a hyperbaric medical emergency such as Carbon Monoxide poisoning is suspected.
DDRC will be taking over from the Institute of Naval Medicine who have run the helpline for the BHA for many years. Changes in military requirements mean that the Royal Navy no longer feel they can provide the logistical capability to continue this valued expert service.
The BHA National Diving Accident Helpline will be staffed by the DDRCís specialist diving and hyperbaric doctors, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will continue the current high level of service by providing speedy advice and guiding access to emergency recompression therapy across the country. The telephone number will remain unchanged and under the overall supervision of the BHA. In emergency situations DDRC will provide assistance and help callers to access the most appropriate or nearest hyperbaric facilities to the patient.
In Scotland, diving emergencies will continue to be dealt with by the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on 0845 408 6008. For a diving emergency occurring at sea, the Coastguard should continue to be first point of contact and in a life-threatening emergency, call 999.
DDRC will take over provision of the BHA National Diving Accident Helpline from 0830 on 3rd January 2013. DDRC is a UK registered charity and we are glad to be able to provide this service for divers, as part of delivering our charitable objectives.