decompression illness


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decompression illness

Aeroembolism due to an excessively rapid ascent to the surface by a deep-sea diver. Synonym: bends; caisson disease; Synonym: diver's palsy See: aeroembolism

Treatment

Affected patients should be transported to specialized treatment centers where recompression or hyperbaric chambers are available.

See also: illness

decompression illness

the adverse effects of uncontrolled return to normal ambient pressure following exposure to high pressure when surfacing from a dive or, less commonly, exposure to rapid reduction in pressure in ascent from sea level in unpressurized aircraft. Symptoms range from pains in the joints, chest and back, weakness or sensory loss, to paralysis and loss of consciousness; severe neurological symptoms can be life-threatening. There are two main causes: (1) damage to the lungs by expansion of the gas in them if a diver does not freely exhale when surfacing. Gas can leak into the circulating blood (air embolus) or into the pleural cavity (pneumothorax); (2) release in the tissues (e.g. around joints or in the spinal cord) of bubbles of nitrogen that was dissolved in body fluids whilst at the higher pressure. Avoided or minimized by using computed tables to control speed of ascent and frequency of pauses, in relation to the duration and depth of the dive. All types of decompression illness require oxygen breathing as a first aid measure, and urgent treatment for all but the mildest by recompression to the initial higher pressure in a hyperbaric chamber, so that nitrogen is redissolved in body fluids, then more gradually released and exhaled as pressure is allowed to fall. See also diving.
References in periodicals archive ?
Decompression illness secondary to occupational diving: recommended management based current legislation and practice in Malaysia.
Mr Lowe, an IT specialist from Selby, was treated for decompression illness and discharged on Sunday evening.
The therapy is used to treat a number of diseases including decompression illness from diving, air or gas embolisms and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Work under the grant, titled "Coordinated Follow-up Studies in the Treatment and Prevention of Decompression Illness and Venous Air Embolisms with Perfluorocarbon Emulsions," is led by Bruce Spiess, M.
It is used to treat divers suffering decompression illness (also known as the bends ); promote wound healing; and treat radiation tissue damage and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Another term you may hear is DCI or decompression illness and includes both, DCS and air embolism.