Materials Properties To Be Used Inside Hyperbaric Chambers

In this chapter materials properties to be used in hyperbaric chambers are related on conditions that oxygen volumetric percentage in the air inside them does not exceed 23,5%. Furthermore material which cannot be admitted inside the chambers are set out.

Lots of materials are flammable, that is, they burn with a flame in the presence of air if primed by an ignition occurrance and their flaming power increases as surrounding air pressure or oxygen percentage in the air increases. For such reason, as a general rule, only fire-proof or unlikely to be flammable materials are to be let into hyperbaric chambers.

6.1) Hyperbaric chambers furnishing and outfits are to be made of Grade 0 or 1 material to fire prevention purposes.

6.2) Paints or varnishes to be used inside the hyperbaric chamber are to be fire-resistant and lasting and are not to exhale toxic vapours or flammable mixtures. Varnishes shall be of an inorganic type, with zinc and high quality epoxy or equivalent. In the event that varnishings and paintings be carried out in the setting up location after hyperbaric chambers have been authorized to work, before starting a therapy at least 72 hours since overall varnishing or painting are to be waited for and at least 30 minutes to touching ups with water paints, and it is compulsory to make sure that there no residues of toxic or dangerous vapours or of either flammable or explosive mixtures be left in the chamber.

6.3) Equipment to undertake hyperbaric therapy are generally produced in rubber or plastic material, therefore they represent a potential flammable material build-up (masks, delivery devices, helmets, pipes, balls, etc.). Those cannot be ridded of but, should they be easily removed, they shall be cut down to the minimum required number to patients to be contemporarily treated.

6.4) Silencers used to fade the noise of circulating air can build-up oily residues of the air itself should this not be duly filtered, therefore they are to be checked out and cleaned on a weekly basis. In case the quantity of residues be considerable, air is to be analysed in order to check its compliance with DIN 3188 regulations. Air check outcome is to be reported on equipment maintenance and control register at least on a three-month basis.

6.5) Anaesthetic products to be used, if the need be, inside the chamber are not to be flammable and are not to give raise to either explosive or flammable mixtures.

6.6) The space between the floor and the wall underneath the hyperbaric chambers shall be cleaned on a weekly basis in order to avoid that dust,hair, fluff and dirt in general build-up ; as a matter of fact such substances may represent flammable material build-up. A closer care is to be kept in cleaning air taking probe terminals inside the chamber for oxygen percentage measurement.

6.7) It must be forbidden to let not previously authorized objects in and at all events any objects which might produce electric discharges, electro-static discharges, sparks, active combustions, i.e. lamps,radios, telephones, TV sets, lighters, warmers, metal or flammable toys or with movabble parts which might spark, unprotected torches.

6.8) Any devices using oils and greases (ball bearings, ball valves, lubricated wheel wheelchairs and stretchers, etc.) as lubricants are forbidden.

6.9) It must be forbidden to allow in liquids which might cause inflammable gases or vapours exhalation, or gases and vapours which might give rise to explosive mixtures, i.e. products for chamber cleaning, personal hygiene, surgical needs, for particular paintings or otherwise.

6.10) Management and control on structural materials or on those to be let into the hyperbaric chamber for surgical or therapeutic reason, or for patients' well-being, or

Safety Supervision of Multiseat Hyperbaric Chambers in a Clinic Environment - Rev. October 1999 Page 12 of 12

for hyperbaric systems proper working , or as worn or carried by patients or by medical or nursing staff, are to be given - upon employer's care and responsibility -to qualified and well informed personnel.

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