K-Block Hyper/hypobaric Chamber Australian-first

Tasmania’s new state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber will be installed in K-Block this weekend.

The chamber has been especially fitted with dual-capability to pressurise (hyperbaric) and depressurise (hypobaric). This will be a first for the Southern Hemisphere.

The installation of the 66 tonne, 14 metre long chamber requires a 300 and a 400 tonne mobile crane to help manoeuvre the chamber into the level 3 cavity in K Block.

The safety of the public and contractors is paramount during the installation process, and Campbell Street between Liverpool and Collins Streets will be closed to all traffic from 7 pm on Friday, 4 May until 6 pm on Sunday, 6 May 2018 to allow for the delivery and installation.

The state-of-the art chamber will provide capacity for up to 10 patients to be treated simultaneously with hyperbaric oxygen, and has three rooms including a new, private change area and toilet.

The dual-capability chamber will create a world-class research facility unique in the Southern Hemisphere and one of just a few globally; the first with combined capability in the country.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a well-known treatment for decompression illness and is essential for Tasmania’s commercial and recreational diving industries. It is also used to treat other conditions that affect many Tasmanians every year - tissue injury from radiation treatment for cancer, diabetic wounds and serious infections such as gangrene for example.

Hypobaric chambers are used for aerospace, or altitude research and training to simulate the effects of high altitude on the body, with potential application to high altitude, space and extreme medicine research and testing; and airline and defence training.

As a research and innovation technology, funding is being secured for the hypobaric capability with assistance from industry and other partners including: Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association, the Tasmanian Abalone Council, the Diver Alert Network Asia Pacific, the UTAS School of Medicine and the Tasmanian Polar Network.

03 May 2018