Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

Pacific Grove Hyperbaric Chamber


The Pacific Grove Hyperbaric Chamber is a charitable project of the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The Hyperbaric Chamber is a critical community resource ensuring the safety of recreational and scientific divers, and military personnel throughout central California. Enhancing the understanding and appreciation of our ocean and coastal resources is integral to all we do. As we strive to increase the enjoyment of the ocean, the chamber is a vital aspect to ensuring accidents do not become tragedies.

The Big Idea

The Pacific Grove Hyperbaric Chamber has served a critical role in the treatment of decompression illness (DCI), related to both diving and flying, and carbon monoxide poisoning cases since it was established over 50-years ago, saving over 550 lives. It is a vital component of our areas’ reputation as a world-class recreational diving destination, and an important resource for scientific divers and military pilots who are regularly exposed to significant changes in atmospheric pressure, making them susceptible to decompression illness.

The facility depends upon community support to ensure its availability 24/7/365 to treat emergencies. Funds are used for chamber operations and maintenance expenses as well as on-going specialized medical training for the volunteer MDs, RNs, DMTs, and EMTs that donate their services for the chamber.

With no military hyperbaric chambers available seven days/week, our facility has become even more important, serving the needs of all branches of the military.

During a training flight, an abrupt fluctuation in cabin pressure inflicted me with decompression sickness (DCS).  I landed safely but was delayed chamber treatment by 1.5 hours due to the closure of the primary hyperbaric chamber at Travis AFB and the subsequent frantic search for an alternate chamber.  Pacific Grove Hyperbaric Chamber (PGHC) began treatment immediately upon my arrival. The volunteers at PGHC were professional, attentive, and highly qualified individuals who expressed genuine interest in my safety and successfully treated my DCS symptoms. With the absence of a hyperbaric chamber at our Naval Air Station, the periodic closure of the chamber at Travis AFB and the relative frequency of F-18 pilot exposure to DCS, the PGHC plays and will continue to play a crucial role in providing 24/7/365 available treatment to Navy pilots who have the misfortune of experiencing DCS.  

- United States Navy F-18E/F Pilot