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Jefferson C. Davis Memorial Keynote


Non-compliant chambers:  Individual liability, and a threat to our industry
Saturday, June 15: 8:00 am - 9:00 am

About the Lecture:  
The sale and ultimately use of non-compliant chambers has become a world-wide issue. Few physicians and program directors understand their vulnerability to legal sanction, as well as the potential  harm to staff, patients, and the public, when using equipment that does not comply with safety standards. While the regulation of pressure vessels for human occupancy is well described in terms of published documents, there are many ways that non-compliant chambers enter into medical practice. The ultimate responsibility for safety usually rests with attending physicians, program managers or owners. Our codes and standards have generally been developed based on a need to protect our people, as well as our industry. Inappropriate medical practices aside, our equipment must be safe for use regardless.

About the Speaker:

Francois Burman cropOriginally from Cape Town (South Africa) Francois currently resides in Durham, NC. He graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1983 with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, is a registered international professional engineer, and in 2014 graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a MSc in Baromedical Sciences.

After compulsory service in the South African Navy and a long career in the nuclear industry, he then served (and later led) Divers Alert Network in South Africa from 1996 to 2016. He is currently the VP of Safety Services at Divers Alert Network in Durham, NC.

His career in diving started in 1994 as the operations director of a company that designed, manufactured and supported a wide range of commercial diving systems, including producing hyperbaric facilities. This expertise was later put into use when he was tasked with performing on-site safety assessments at more than 150 recompression and hyperbaric medicine chamber facilities around the world.

He has managed a range of organizations and companies in parallel throughout his career, enjoying involvement in many fields, including technical, investigative, educational and out-reach capacities.

His primary function at DAN is to promote safety and accident prevention through education, training and awareness, and with this, to also assist and help develop global remote recompression chamber facilities that accept injured divers for treatment.

He has authored a series of books, chapters, articles and guidance documents, including risk assessment publications for recompression chamber facilities, clinical hyperbaric facilities, and for dive operators and dive professionals, all now accepted as industry standards.

He is fortunate to represent industry in several international organizations, including the UHMS safety and the FDA regulatory committees, the NFPA-99 (hyperbaric healthcare facilities) and NFPA-53 (safe practice in oxygen-enriched atmospheres) committees, the ASME PVHO standards committees, the European Code of Good (hyperbaric) Practice committee, the Canadian Standards committee for hyperbaric facilities, and several ISO committees (all related to pressure equipment). Francois is the technical advisor to the Southern African Undersea & Hyperbaric Association (SAUHMA) and leads the hyperbaric facility accreditation program for SAUHMA.

He is very active in safety education programs for DAN, serves on educational faculties at four international universities, regularly presents papers at a range of internal scientific meetings, and has been faculty of a medical educational organization in Texas for more than 21 years.

About Dr. Davis:

JeffersonDavis Dr. Jefferson C. Davis devoted his entire adult life serving the diving, aerospace and hyperbaric communities.  Through his clinical practice, educational activities, and publications, he inspired several generations of clinicians to provide quality medical service for divers, aviators, and hyperbaric medicine & wound care patients.  

Dr. Davis was born December 7, 1932, and raised in Neosho, Missouri.  After receiving his MD at the University of Missouri in 1958, he joined the US Air Force Medical Corps to become a flight surgeon.  He received his MPH from the University of California at Berkeley and was board certified in Aerospace Medicine.  He studied diving medicine at the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit in Washington DC.  In 1965, Dr. Davis and his colleagues created the first US Air Force course in Hyperbaric Medicine.  He founded “LEOFAST,” the US Air Force predecessor of Divers Alert Network.  In 1974 he founded and became the first Director of the USAF Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Brooks Air Force Base Texas, which now bears his name.  He created the Davis Protocol in the application of Hyperbaric Medicine for wound healing enhancement.  He became Medical Director for Medical Seminars’ Medicine of Diving Program in which physicians from all medical specialties could learn to treat injured divers and to serve as consults to their local diving communities.  In 1979, after 20 years of service Dr. Davis retired from the US Air Force as a Chief Flight Surgeon in the grade of Colonel.  Dr. Davis became founding member and president of International ATMO, Inc. the first know contract provider of wound care and hyperbaric medicine services.   He set up a successful practice at two San Antonio hospitals.

His compassion for his patient’s well-being was legendary and he contributed much to the diving, aerospace and hyperbaric medicine communities.