Hyperbaric Chamber Saves Surfer’s Hand After Shark Attack

The only thing I know about hyperbaric chambers is that Michael Jackson sleeps in one…and apparently they’re a good place to go if you need improved blood low. Even better; there was a headline on the side of this post that read “Father And Daughter Charged In Incest Case”. You gotta love the Dirty South…

Not the surfer referred to in  the article…

Read entire article at http://www.wptv.com/news/local/story/Hyperbaric-chamber-saves-shark-attack-victims-hand/gmki9lRbF0eknWeznaif8Q.cspx

Early one Monday morning last September surf was up and so was Jupiter resident Daryl Zbar.

“I had surfed all day Saturday and Sunday with friends and then Monday, everybody is working and I had a free day,” Said Zbar.

“Ive done it thousands of times-been doing it since I was 5,” said Zbar.

Daryl bobbed in the water off Hutchinson Island on the back of his surfboard sorting out the waves, waiting for just the right one.

“I got to the outside and as soon as I plopped down on my stomach and dug my right hand in to paddle, it hit me,” said Zbar.  “The thing I remember most is this like  [vibrating noise] and I think that was his tail flipping back and forth as he was shaking his head.  It grabbed me right here [on the hand] and shredded it. I knew right away it was shark on my hand and when I pulled my hand up, I saw him he was  only about that big and he let go and swam away.”

Daryl survived the encounter, but when he lifted his hand from the water his thumb was dangling like a flap.  He caught the next wave into the beach and a fisherman rushed him to the hospital.

“It was pretty severe,” said Dr. David Rankin, the surgeon on duty that day,” I looked at the thumb under a live X-ray.  It was actually almost completely amputated and detached at the joint.”

Rankin did everything he could to stitch Daryl up, but the tissue on his hand had been ripped to shreds by the shark’s fierce tug and jagged teeth.  Daryl would need intense therapy to avoid amputation.

The healing really began for Daryl Zbar here in a hyperbaric chamber at St. Marys Medical Center.

The folks who run the chamber say it simulates the pressure of a submarine.  That pressure compresses Oxygen, infusing it into the blood stream in a way that helps heal wounds.

“The increase oxygen levels in the blood act almost like an antibiotic.  They allow white blood cells in a regular immune system to  function better and more appropriately,” said Rankin.

Bull Shark