Navy
Badge of the Naval Medical Institute.

Naval Institute of Maritime Medicine

The Naval Institute of Maritime Medicine is the German Navy’s medical competence centre – both in the areas of research and emergency medicine.

Mission

As the central technical facility, the Naval Institute of Maritime Medicine (NIMMed) is the home of all medical officers of the German naval forces. The Institute primarily supports the Fleet with its expert knowledge in the field of naval medicine, while its diving physicians also work for the entire Bundeswehr. The Institute is colocated with agencies of the Bundeswehr Joint Medical Service in Kronshagen, near Kiel.

The research and training focus of the NIMMed is on maritime, diving and hyperbaric medicine. In these areas, the Institute closely collaborates with military and civilian institutions in Germany and abroad. Soldiers and civilian employees work in interdisciplinary teams using, among other things, a state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber system, special diagnostic equipment, telemedicine workstations, and the sick bay team training simulator.

Last but not least, the Institute provides a 24-hour emergency service in diving and hyperbaric medicine as well as in crisis intervention, the latter offered by the Navy’s own psychologists.

Organization

This department specialises in maritime medicine in the context of surface vessels. It is subdivided into three specialist sections: Maritime and Occupational Medicine, Medical Ergonomics and Naval Psychology, and Dental Assessment and On-board Dental Stations. The focus of maritime medicine in the Navy is on the soldiers aboard the ships and boats. For example, the department assesses the working and living conditions on board or supports ship's surgeons via telemedicine and in the area of dental medicine.

This department pools the diving medicine expertise of the Navy Medical Service. This includes assessing all divers, combat swimmers and submariners as well as providing their occupational medical care. The HYDRA 2000 hyperbaric chamber at the NIMMed is primarily used for medical treatment of casualties of underwater accidents. The chamber is used by the department's diving physicians to treat military as well as civilian emergency patients. The system provides 24-hour emergency readiness.

Together with the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, this department of the NIMMed forms the Maritime Medicine Section of the Institute of Experimental Medicine at the University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein.

Its scientific research covers the areas of diving medicine, seasickness and aspects of occupational physiology.

The Navy Medical Service Training Centre is the training facility and parent unit for all medical personnel in the German Navy, preparing them for deployment with the Fleet. Up to 150 candidates are trained here – for future assignments from medical PO to ship's surgeon. The Training Centre also conducts diving medical officer and ship's surgeon courses under the technical control of Departments I and II.

The Commissioner for the Diving Service is responsible for diving safety in the Navy. This authority develops principles and regulations and monitors the procedures used in the practical diving operations of the Navy. Its tasks also include the in-service and supply management for the Navy's diving capability providers. Last but not least, the Commissioner for the Diving Service assigns investigating officers to diving accident investigations.

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