Hyperbaric medicine is a medical specialisation that includes the issue of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and diving medicine. This treatment method explores the positive effects of oxygen inhalation under elevated atmospheric pressure.
This September, the project “Online learning platform for students of Medicine and Healthcare study programmes focusing on hyperbaric medicine” started. Aside from healthcare and societal problems, the global pandemic of COVID-19 caused the shift of education from full-time to distance form. The disadvantage of this form is that the presence of both the lecturer and the student is necessary. “The aim of the project is to improve the quality of distance education. The platform we are preparing is designed in a way, so that the student could study any time without the presence of the lecturer. On that account, we are preparing educational videos, tests and accompanying materials, that will be available to the students at all times. We will use hyperbaric medicine as an example, therefore after the end of the project, the platform can be used for teaching different courses.” Described one of the creators of the project and its guarantor, Mgr. Miroslav Rozložník, PhD. from University of Ostrava.
Why Hyperbaric Medicine?
Hyperbaric medicine has more than fifty years of tradition in the Czech Republic since the first hyperbaric chamber was created in 1965 in Ostrava. In Czech Republic, there are currently 13 medical hyperbaric chambers in operation, out of which only one is in Moravia, or more precisely in Silesia.
The number and especially the unevenness of their placement is unsatisfactory. “The benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are proven in clinical and experimental studies in fields such as diabetology, traumatology, surgery, orthopaedics, paediatrics, neurology and others. Therefore, the current insufficient number of hyperbaric workplaces should be increased. However, education is needed for this purpose – that is both undergraduate and postgraduate,” explained the researcher of the project for Masaryk University and Chair of the Czech Society of Hyperbaric and Aviation Medicine CMS, PhDr. Miloslav Klugar, Ph.D.
At present, the field of hyperbaric medicine has a status of follow-up specialised education, however, it is relatively neglected within the framework of undergraduate education. So far, it has not been systematically taught at Masaryk University either, which will change thanks to the project. “The situation is not better concerning the education of healthcare study programmes either. Currently, there is no comprehensive educational system for non-medical healthcare staff in this field in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. We firmly believe that the project will not only bring interesting content, but also an attractive structure of education for raising the competitiveness of our students in the labour marker, but especially improvement of patient care,” said prof. PhDr. Andrea Pokorná, Ph.D., Head of Department of Health Sciences, Vice-Dean for Healthcare Study Programmes and Information Technology of the FM MU.
The online platform, focusing on hyperbaric medicine, will provide the necessary materials, on the basis of which it will be possible to gain knowledge of this field at MU. The unique partnership of educational institutions will provide students of medical and healthcare study programmes with the necessary knowledge and skills in this field.
“With hyperbaric oxygen therapy, we achieve great results in patients. We treat for example air embolism, severe poisonings, severe carbon monoxide poisonings, necrotizing infections of soft tissues and many other conditions. Approximately 500 patients pass through the Ostrava hyperbaric chamber in a year. I see big potential in this method,” added the Head doctor of Centre for Hyperbaric Medicine of Ostrava City Hospital, Vice-Chair of Czech Society of Hyperbaric and Aviation Medicine CMS and also one of the project researchers, MUDr. Michal Hájek, PhD.
The project “Online learning platform for students of Medicine and Healthcare study programmes focusing on hyperbaric medicine” with registration number NFP304010AZF1 is implemented through programme od cross-border cooperation Interreg V-A SK-CZ and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.