Australian Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Research Group

About us

Our research group was organised in 2010 with the aim of fostering research in all aspects of both diving and hyperbaric medicine. Diving medicine is concerned with all physiological and medical aspects of immersion and breathing compressed gas under water and is of great interest to both recreational divers and commercial/military operations. Hyperbaric medicine is involved with all aspects of the treatment of disease by the application of high oxygen partial pressures. The group is particularly focussed on the evidence-basis of these disciplines and is a world leader in the critical appraisal and meta-analysis of the evidence for the application of hyperbaric oxygen in a wide range of disease.

Our research is intimately involved in the delivery of clinical services through the Department of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, a state-wide service located at the Prince of Wales Hosptial.

 

 

CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

Grouped by subject area

 

Diving medicine

1. Dr Denise F Blake, Mr Lawrence H Brown, Mr Peter Grabau, Dr Owen Kenny, Dr Peter Aitken, Dr David Cooksley, Mr Peter Bisaro, Mr Corry Van den Broek, Mr Greg Huppatz. Is helicopter transport safe for divers with decompression illness? A prospective simulation study evaluating intravascular bubble formation in healthy volunteers exposed to vibration versus stillness following a Table 14 hyperbaric treatment.

2. Dr Denise F Blake, Dr Julia Brue-Thomson, Mr Lawrence H Brown, Mr Peter Bisaro, Mr Corry Van den Broek. Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble: A comparison of bubble formation between compressed air and Nitrox for recreational SCUBA diving to 18 msw.

3. Blake DF, Commons K, Gibbs C, Brown LH. What Is The Incidence of Middle Ear Barotrauma in Novice SCUBA Divers and Can It Be Reduced?

4. Bennett MH, Kim A, Belessis A. The Prince of  Wales experience with necrotising infections.

5. Thistlethwaite K, Bennett M, Hua C et al. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for venous ulcers. Recruitment complete.

 

 

Hyperbaric medical practice

1. Blake DF, Hardman J, Young DA, Perks S, Lewis I, Brown LH. An assessment of the performance of the Baxter Elastomeric Large Volume (LV 10) Infusor pump under hyperbaric conditions. Submitting Ethics early 2015.

2. Bennett MH, Hui B, Parkinson S. A comparative study of refractive changes in the eye following hyperbaric oxygen therapy using a hood or mask. 99 of 120 recruited.

3. Hawkins GC, Bennett MH. The outcome of chronic wounds following hyperbaric oxygen therapy: a prospective cohort study . Manuscript in preparation.

4. Foo D, Bennett MH. Effects of compressed air breathing on emotional processing. 

5. Thom S, Bennett MH. Microparticles in scuba divers with decompression sickness.

6. Natalia C, Bennett MH, Lee B. A feasibility assessment of Hyperbaric Therapy for neuropathic pain relief in spinal cord injured (SCI) patients.

 

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

The group has been very active. The following are publications over the last five years, grouped by subject area

 

Diving medicine

1. Gibbs CR, Commons KH, Brown LH, Blake DF. “Sea legs”: sharpened Romberg test after three days on a live-aboard dive boat. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. 2010;40(4):189-194.

2. Bennett MH, Mitchell S, Lehm JP, Wasiak J. Recompression and adjunctive therapy for decompression illness: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.  Anesth Analg Volume: 111, Issue: 3, Date: 2010 Sep , Pages: 757-62

3. Meehan CA, Bennett MH. Medical assessment of fitness to dive – comparing a questionnaire and a medical-interview-based approach. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 2010;40(3):119-125.

4.Ong LM, Bennett MH, Thomas PS. Referral patterns and outcomes of dive medical examinations in a tertiary hyperbaric facility. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 2010;40(3):125-131.

5. Bennett MH, Mitchell S, Lehm JP, Wasiak J. Recompression and adjunctive therapy for decompression illness: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.  Anesth Analg  2010; 111(3):757-62.

6. Wilson A, Bennett, M, Marshall A, Crockett, A. Changes in lung function after compressed air diving. Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews. In press 30/11/2010.

7. Bennett M, Lehm J, Mitchell S, Wasiak J. Recompression and adjunctive therapy for decompression illness. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 May 16;5:CD005277.

8. Lofdahl  P, Andersson D, Bennett M. Nitrogen narcosis and emotional processing during compressed air breathing.Aviat Space Environ Med 2012; 83:1–5.

9. Bennett MH, Mitchell SJ, Young D et al. The use of deep tables in the treatment of decompression illness. The Hyperbaric Technicians and Nurses Association 2011 Workshop. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 2012;42(3):

10. Mitchell SJ, Bennett MH, Bird N et al. Recommendations for rescue of a submerged unresponsive compressed gas diver. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 2012;39(6):1099-108.

11. Liou K, Wolfers D, Turner R, Bennett M, Allen R, Jepson N, Cranny G. Patent foramen ovale influences the presentation of decompression illness on scuba divers. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2015; 24(1):26-31.

 

Hyperbaric medical practice

1. Blake DF, Young DA, Brown LH. Nitrogen narcosis in hyperbaric chamber nurses. Accepted January 6, 2015. International Journal of Nursing Research.

2. Blake DF, Young DA, Brown LH. Transcutaneous oximetry: normal values in the lower limb. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. 2014;44(3):146-53.

3. Commons K, Brown LH, Blake DF. A prospective analysis of independent patient risk factors for middle ear barotrauma in a multiplace hyperbaric chamber. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. 2013;43(3):143-7.

4. Young DA, Blake DF, Brown, LH. Transcutaneous oximetry measurement: normal values in the upper limb.  Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. 2012;42(4):208-213.

5. Bennett M.  Oxygen toxicity. Review Digest. In; Advances in Wound Care, Vol 2. The Wound Healing Society 2010:134-139.

6. Bennett MH. Randomized controlled trials in diving and hyperbaric medicine. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 2013; 40(5):419-438.

7. Murad MH, Altayar O, Bennett M, Wei JC, Claus PL, Asi N, Prokop LJ, Montori VM, Guyatt GH. Using GRADE for evaluating the quality of evidence in hyperbaric oxygen therapy clarifies evidence limitations. J Clin Epidemiol. 2014; 67(1):65-72.

8. Mitchell SJ, Bennett MH. Unestablished indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 2014; 44(4):228-235.

9. Bennett MH. Hyperbaric medicine and the placebo effect. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 2014; 44(4):235-241.

 

Hyperbaric oxygen and chronic wounds

1. Kranke P, Bennett M, Roeckl-Weidmann, Debus S. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for chronic wounds (Cochrane Review). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Apr 18;4:CD004123. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID: 22513920.

 

Hyperbaric and neurological disease

1. Bennett MHeard R. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for multiple sclerosis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for multiple sclerosis.  CNS Neurosci Ther2010; 16(2):115-24. 

2. Bennett MH, Wasiak J, Schnabel A, Kranke P, French C. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for acute ischaemic stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009(4).

 

Hyperbaric oxygen and infections

1. Saxby A, Barakate M, Kertesz T, James J, Bennett M. Malignant otitis externa: experience with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine 2010; 40(4):195-200. 

2. Bennett MH, Stanford RE, Turner R. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for promoting fracture healing and treating fracture non-union. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Nov 14;11:CD004712. 

3. Levett D, Bennett MH, Millar I. Adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen for necrotizing fasciitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD007937. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007937.pub2

 

Hyperbaric oxygen and radiation

1. Bennett MH, Feldmeier J, Hampson N, Smee R, Milross C. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for late radiation tissue injury. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 May 16;5:CD005005. PMID: 22592699.

2. Bennett MH, Smee R, Milross C, Feldmeier J. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for tumour sensitization to radiation therapy (Cochrane Review). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Apr 18;4:CD005007.Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID: 22513926.

 

Team

Collaborators

Dr. Andrew Belessis, Senior Staff Specialist, DHM, POWH

Dr. Darren Wolfers, Senior Staff Specialist, DHM, POWH

Dr Sam Koch:  VMO anaesthetist, POWH

Ms Joanne James: Nursing Unit Manager, Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, POWH

Dr. Andre Venning, Clinical Fellow, DHM, POWH

Dr. Christopher Anderson, Diving Medical Officer, RAN

Dr. Denise Blake, Senior Staff Specialist, Townsville General Hospital

Dr. Anne Wilson

 

Resources & Tools

Our group has access to a comprehensive range of compression vessels rated for both human and animal occupancy. The suite consists of:

1 large, four compartment chamber capable of the simultaneous compression of up to 34 individuals across the four internal chambers. All are capable of individual pressurisation. The maximum pressure possible is  6 atmospheres absolute (ATA) or 607.8 kPa.

1 monoplace chamber for the treatmentof a single individual up to a maximum pressure of 3 ATA or 303.9 kPa

1 research compression vessel  'Deeplab One'. This vessel is capable of compressing four individuals to a maximum pressure of  10 ATA (1,103 kPa). It is used mainly for equipment and animal research.

Grants & Funding

1. UHMS Foundation Grant for RCT in ISSNHL ($7,400.00) 2009-12

2. Australian Diving and Hyperbaric Research Foundation Grant for RCT in ISSNHL ($15,000) 2009-12

3. ANZCA Research Foundation Grant ($15,000.00) 2008

4. Research grant from Queensland Emergency Medicine Research Foundation for 'Is helicopter transport safe for divers with decompression illness?' ($46,310 )

5. Townsville Hospital and Health Service PPTF research grant for  'Is helicopter transport safe for divers with decompression illness?' ($22,691)

6. Research grant from Queensland Emergency Medicine Research Foundation for 'Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble: A comparison of bubble formation between compressed air and Nitrox for recreational SCUBA diving to 18 msw.' ($19,382)

7. Townsville Hospital and Health Service PPTF research grant for 'Bubble formation with compressed air and nitrox.' ($7,629)

8. Australian Hyperbaric and Diving Mediciine Research Trust 2012 for 'What Is The Incidence of Middle Ear Barotrauma in Novice SCUBA Divers and Can It Be Reduced?' ($15,900)

 

Group contacts