The hyperbaric chamber of the Military Hospital Center of Taranto saves the life of an intoxicated family


In the evening of 23 February 2019 the Service of Hyperbaric Medicine of the Military Hospital Center of Taranto was alerted by the First Aid of the SS Hospital. Annunziata to carry out a treatment of Oxygen Hyperbaric Therapy (OTI) in emergency in favor of a family of Lizzano (father, mother and 11-year-old son), a victim of acute carbon monoxide poisoning, probably linked to the malfunctioning of a "pellet stove".

It was the father who gave the alarm, alerting the 118 after warning at home an atypical smell of combustion and after experiencing severe manifestations of malaise on his wife and son, with the typical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning : headache, nausea and transient loss of consciousness. The three members of the family were promptly rescued and transferred to the ambulance in the emergency room of the Tarantino hospital, where - simultaneously with the first treatment of the case - the tested protocol was activated allowing the activation of the hyperbaric system of the military hospital. the close synergy and collaboration between the Defense administration staff (doctors, nurses and military divers and civilian technicians of the Navy) and resuscitating, hyperbaric anesthetists of the ASL Jonica.

After carrying out the preliminary diagnostic tests, the patients were transferred to the Military Hospital for timely treatment of the case. As required by the protocol, the first hyperbaric treatment was followed by further sessions of hyperbaric therapy, performed over several days, in order not only to avoid the immediate risks arising from poisoning, but also the danger of neurological consequences at a distance (the so-called post-interval syndrome).

The Military Hospital Center of Taranto, with its hyperbaric system, the only one active in the province and among the very few present in the region, ensures, through a 24-hour on-call service, emergency treatment - urgent cases of critical cases, coming not only from the Ionian area but also from other neighboring provinces and, specifically, the management of cases of acute carbon monoxide poisoning, a potentially lethal pathology, typical above all in the cold season. The protocol for the activation of the military hospital's hyperbaric system, which involves military and civil specialists, represents a virtuous model of interaction between State administrations, with a view - increasingly promoted in recent years by the Navy - complementary use of their resources, also in favor of the direct protection of citizens and their health.