Hagyard to Review Hyperbaric Chamber Safety

Equine medical center's chamber in Lexington is closed until further notice.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington has shut down its hyperbaric oxygen chamber “until further notice,” according to an announcement posted on its Facebook page Feb. 13. The prominent veterinary hospital plans to conduct an extensive review of safety protocols and procedures with the chamber’s manufacturer even though the release described the equipment’s safety record there as “impeccable.”

The action was taken in response to an accident involving a hyperbaric chamber Feb. 10 at KESMARC Florida in Ocala, Fla., according to the announcement. One employee and a horse were killed and another employee was injured when the chamber exploded.

The Hagyard statement noted that the medical center’s hyperbaric medicine team had received its training and certification at an Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society-approved course. The team’s director, Dr. Nathan Slovis, and safety officer, Lynne Hewlitt, are certified as both human and veterinary hyperbaric technologists.