What is diving sickness?

What happens if you get the bends?

(Decompression Illness; Caisson Disease; The Bends)

Symptoms can include fatigue and pain in muscles and joints. In the more severe type, symptoms may be similar to those of stroke or can include numbness, tingling, arm or leg weakness, unsteadiness, vertigo (spinning), difficulty breathing, and chest pain.

What illnesses can you get from diving?

Many diving accidents or illnesses are related to the effect of pressure on gases in the body;

  • Barotrauma.
  • Compression arthralgia.
  • Decompression sickness.
  • Dysbaric osteonecrosis.
  • High pressure nervous syndrome.
  • Nitrogen narcosis.
  • Oxygen toxicity.
  • Drowning.

How is decompression sickness treated?

Emergency treatment for decompression sickness involves maintaining blood pressure and administering high-flow oxygen. Fluids also may be given. The person should be placed left side down and if possible the head of the bed tilted down.

What does decompression sickness feel like?

The symptoms of decompression sickness vary, because the nitrogen bubbles can form in different parts of the body. The diver may complain of headache or vertigo, unusual tiredness, or fatigue. They may experience a rash, joint pain, tingling or a dull ache in the arms or legs, muscular weakness, or even paralysis.

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Will the bends go away on its own?

In some cases, symptoms may remain mild or even go away by themselves. Often, however, they strengthen in severity until you must seek medical attention, and they may have longer-term repercussions.

What is the most common injury in scuba diving?

The most common injury in divers is ear barotrauma (Box 3-03). On descent, failure to equalize pressure changes within the middle ear space creates a pressure gradient across the eardrum.

What are 3 common emergencies experienced by divers?

Diving Emergencies

  • Arterial Gas Embolism.
  • Decompression Sickness.
  • Pulmonary barotrauma.

What does the bends feel like?

The most common signs and symptoms of the bends include joint pains, fatigue, low back pain, paralysis or numbness of the legs, and weakness or numbness in the arms. Other associated signs and symptoms can include dizziness, confusion, vomiting, ringing in the ears, head or neck pain, and loss of consciousness.

What happens if the bends goes untreated?

Untreated bends cause damage!

Failure to treat promptly and appropriately may lead to permanent impairment.

Why do I get sick after scuba diving?

Decompression sickness is caused when the nitrogen that you absorb during a dive forms bubbles in your blood and tissues as the pressure decreases (when you ascend). The biggest cause of this is ascending too fast, or spending too long at a certain depth and absorbing too much nitrogen.

How long does it take for the bends to set in?

Symptoms of the Bends. The nervous and musculoskeletal system are most often affected. If divers are going to develop symptoms, they will show within 48 hours in all cases. Most have symptoms within 6 hours, while some develop them within the first hour of surfacing from a dive.

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How do you test for decompression sickness?

Diagnosis. Doctors recognize decompression sickness by the nature of the symptoms and their onset in relation to diving. Tests such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sometimes show brain or spinal cord abnormalities but are not reliable.

Will mild DCS go away on its own?

While very minor symptoms of DCS may go away with just rest and over the counter pain medications, it is thought that treatment with recompression and oxygen is ideal to prevent any possible long term effects from the injury.

Can you recover from decompression sickness?

Conclusions. Late recompression for DCS, 48 hours or more after surfacing, has clinical value and when applied can achieve complete recovery in 76% of the divers. It seems that the preferred hyperbaric treatment protocol should be based on US Navy Table 6.