The number of units available should be adequate to meet facility staffing.
The breathing duration of the personal protection devices should be predicated upon the time necessary for evacuation of the facility.
Facility evacuation time should be determined during fire drills conducted by the hyperbaric facility.
MedEdOnline evaluated two devices. There are certainly others out there. One was the Drager ‘Parat C’ hood. It is lightweight, easy to don and provides up to 15 minutes of protection from smoke, carbon dioxide and other toxic gases normally present during a fire. It does not provide an alternative air source but the NFPA document does not mandate this. The product is relatively inexpensive and has a long shelf life. More information can be found at the Drager website.
The second device is the EEBA 10, manufactured by International Safety Instruments www.intsafety.com The EEBA 10 provides 10 minutes of compressed air, via an aluminum 3,000psig cylinder. This is a relatively lightweight product given the H.P. cylinder but somewhat less convenient to handle and use.
As an independent air source is not required we have elected to go with the ‘Parat C’. It is the easier of the two to manage when handling stretchers and patients. It requires no maintenance and is the less expensive option. Before you select a particular device, determine how much time is required to evacuate patients to a safe place. This will largely dictate which options be considered.