I did my first 24ft oxygen chamber session. It didn’t affect my ears like my previous 16ft session did. I was the only person in there which was a little scary but it was all fine, I even took a video of the initial pressurisation. When it came to depressurisation, after a few minutes the oxygen stopped. I tried inhaling so hard to the point I was getting chest pains, nothing came out at all. I banged on the door which was next too me, not realising this is the only part of the chamber that no one would have heard me banging. About 20 seconds later of panic I banged every part of the chamber I could reach. Another lady outside who was on oxygen saw through port hole and called for help. The operator then looked through window and saw my distress. She changed some setting and oxygen came back in. I’m not sure if it was some kind of blocked valve, depressurising too quick or maybe some kind of oxygen toxicity. Afterwards, the door opened and the operator was more panicked than me as it was the first time anyone had needed help in her 2 weeks of operating. The other operator then said it may have been low oxygen in the tank as they check every Tuesday (following day). I’m not sure what to think. Suffocation has to be my biggest fear, whilst it was probably only 1 minute without air it was scary knowing that the doors couldn’t just instantly be opened. Looking into what could have actually caused this to happen there doesn’t seem to be anything of use. Possibly a valve got stuck, oxygen was running low or maybe depressurisation happened too quickly. I have noticed the benefits of oxygen but I don’t know what to think now. Could it be some weird medical thing with me, chamber fault or operator error? Has anyone had similar experiences? Or medical/engineering knowledge of possible cause?
Update: so after speaking with the chief engineer, it turns out the the operator turned off the oxygen in error. I’m not sure that this excuse is excusable. I am lucky to be fairly fit but for many others in that situation it could have easily been the end of them.
I am also now told that if you take the mask off completely you can still breath when pressurised - I wish I new this at the time but even so when in fight or flight mode it is difficult to remember what you need to do.
No more chamber sessions for me unfortunately