Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

Updates from the Chair

Bruce Derrick, MD

BruceDerrick_2015UHM Section Grant Awarded!!!

Congratulations, and huge thanks to our Chair-Elect, Davut Savaser, MD, MPH for submitting a successful section grant application. The award of $8905.00 will be used to produce video and other multimedia content aimed at being a resource for emergency providers to increase knowledge and understanding of Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine. This will also increase exposure of our section within ACEP, generate interest from potential fellowship candidates, and further our goal of updating and expanding the section website. Please contact Davut to get involved in this project. We will be working on arranging a meeting time at ACEP in Las Vegas to plan and potentially start developing content. Stay tuned for emails from the section listserv with an update. We look forward to working with everyone, and thanks again to Davut for all of his hard work with this project!

2016 UHMS Annual Scientific Meeting – A well-attended success!

This year’s UHMS Annual Scientific Meeting was held at the Tropicana, Las Vegas. The meeting was highlighted by outstanding academic sessions, poster presentations, and powerhouse plenary sessions from some of the biggest names in undersea & hyperbaric medicine. Dr. Richard Moon gave an outstanding Lambertsen Memorial Lecture on “Investigations into Living and Working Under the Water: Where We Have Been and Where Do We Need to Go?” The Kindwall Memorial Lecture entitled “Medicine or Marketing? What We Need to do to Survive in the 21st Century,” was expertly delivered by Dr. Michael Bennett. Dr. Simon Mitchell spoke on “Guidelines for Prehospital Management of Diving Injuries.” UHMS President, Dr. Enoch Huang gave a plenary session on “Understanding Hyperbaric Dosing,” later followed by Dr. Jim Chimiak of Divers Alert Network who gave an impactful, and frightening, address on “Access to Emergent Hyperbaric Therapy in the United States.” More to come on this later…

Congratulations to the award winners:  

The Albert R Behnke Award: Dr. Fred Bove
Commercial Diving Award: Dr. Keith Van Meter
Excellence in Diving Medicine Award: Dr. Simon Mitchell
Excellence in Hyperbaric Medicine Award: Dr. Caroline Fife
Young Scientist/Medical Doctor Award:  Dr. Walter Chin
Paul C. Baker Award for HBO Therapy Safety Excellence:  Sherri Ferguson
Excellence in Critical Care Hyperbaric Medicine Award: Wafa Daoud & Megan Zynkian
Associate’s Achievement Recognition Scholarship: Michael Natoli


UHM Section Meeting at UHMS SA 2016
We had a successful mid-year section meeting at the UHMS conference with about 12 attendees. Here is a brief summary of topics discussed:

  1. ACEP SA lectures/course proposals are due on September 1st. See the ACEP website for details if you are interested in submitting a proposal. 
  2. Huge thanks to Tracy LeGros for her hard work putting together the combined “Council of Fellowship Directors (COFD) and ACEP UHM Section response to the CO poisoning draft CPG. The ACEP CPG committee is currently reviewing all of the submitted comments. 
  3. Discussion was positive about Davut Savaser’s grant application. There was good interest from the group for participating in the project.
  4. Newsletter: We still need more writers for articles. Ideas include specific articles on HBO indications, introduction of the new fellows, access to emergency hyperbaric care, interesting clinical cases and high yield hyperbaric teaching points. Please contact Stephen Hendriksen if you are interested in writing for the newsletter.
  5. ACEP 2016 meeting planning: our current councilor, Richard Walker, will be giving this year’s educational lecture. Please email Bruce Derrick if you have items for the agenda. 
  6. Cultivating interest in UHM: We discussed the idea of having a national “Extreme Environmental Interest Group” aimed at medical students and residents and utilizing our great national faculty to speak and lead journal club discussions using a web-conference format. We will also plan on having a UHM fellowship table at the EMRA job fair this year. The fellowship directors will be speaking about this at the next COFD meeting. 
  7. It was brought up that we should integrate some of our ideas with other ACEP sections ie: aeromedical, wilderness medicine. This is something we have talked about for a while. We would like to find a section member interested in being liaison to other sections.
  8. We should consider writing an EM focused, ACEP section article for the UHMS “pressure” newsletter, and continue cultivating a great relationship between ACEP and the UHMS. Please email me if you have interest in doing this.
  9. The biggest discussion of the meeting was over the continuing closure of 24/7 hyperbaric facilities, and how to fix the problem. The idea of having ACEP, DAN and UHMS working collectively to push for a solution was unanimously supported. We discussed the idea of a regional rotating call schedule and central triage of patients to arrange and initial treatment for patients at the closest, most appropriate facility. Telemedicine support could be organized through the larger academic centers which can also assist in transfer of patients to tertiary facilities after the initial treatment if needed. We agreed that incentivizing smaller facilities to participate in a call schedule would be difficult and will require exploration. Tying reimbursement or facility accreditation to participation in 24/7 call were brought up as possible solutions. Regional centers participating in 24/7 coverage could help decrease the burden currently being felt by the remaining 24/7 facilities, improve patient care by decreasing “time to treatment,” increase the expertise and professional satisfaction of smaller centers, and would provide an opportunity to standardize treatment practices. Finding ways to fund on-call staff would also be challenging. Dive centers charging an “air fill tax,” volunteer staff, and voluntary contributions from businesses could be explored as potential funding sources. 
  10. We all agreed that having a second formal meeting every year is beneficial in moving the section forward. We would like to thank the UHMS for providing our section with this great opportunity. We will continue to plan an ACEP UHM section meeting at future UHMS conferences. Our ACEP group will continue to work closely with the UHMS, specifically on projects with an “emergency hyperbaric medicine” focus. 

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