The director of PLOCAN, José Joaquín Hernández Brito, took part in a meeting in Los Llanos de Aridane on the opportunity to install a hyperbaric chamber in La Palma, which concluded that it is important for the professional, tourism and sports sectors, and that it will bring benefits to the island by increasing tourism and promoting the blue economy.
The meeting, held in the Benahorita Museum, was moderated by José Joaquín Hernández Brito, and was attended by Alfonso Montes de Oca, president of the association La Palma Isla Azul, José Antonio Olmos, medical director of Hiperox, Fredys Medina Pérez of Acuipalma, Nora San Martín of Blue Magma Diving and Lorimer Monteith Lorenzo of El Caboso.
A hyperbaric chamber is essential in the development of underwater tourist destinations, as it allows patients to be subjected to higher pressures and oxygen concentrations for therapeutic purposes in the event of an accident. In addition, its presence helps prevent and treat decompression sickness in divers, improves the healing of wounds and ulcers and increases the safety and confidence of visitors by providing a specialised and accessible medical resource in case of emergency. All this favours customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as the reputation and prestige of the tourist destination.
The implementation of this hyperbaric chamber is of great interest for the Integral Monitoring and Sustainable Management Programme for the marine ecosystem of the Lava Delta on La Palma (DELTA project), a project of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), financed by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Lucha contra el Cambio Climático y Planificación Territorial del Gobierno de Canarias and the Secretaría de Estado de Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de España, as it can boost the development of the blue economy on the island of La Palma, which does not have this resource, with the consequent risks for professional, recreational or tourist activities.
The medical director of Hiperox, José Antonio Olmos, described the history and current situation of the chambers of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. From this premise, the situation of the hyperbaric chamber in La Palma was discussed, the benefits of having it on the island, the difficulties of the cost of maintenance and personnel for its operation or the appropriate place for its location.
At the meeting, the creation of a multidisciplinary working group with interested agents was discussed, and the lines of work and possible means of financing for the implementation of a hyperbaric chamber on the island were established.