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Nov 5, 2012

Diving Doctor to the Rescue

Diving is certainly one of the most beautiful experiences possible in this world, and anybody who has once witnessed the ethereal beauty of the underwater world will vouch for it. There are lots of people who dive for recreational reasons. There are others who are commercial divers.  The number of divers is actually in the millions.


Because diving is so commonplace and happens so often, it is important that people know of the precautions to be taken. And one of the most important ones is to know about bends. Bends or decompression illness occurs when on account of a rapid ascent during the course of a dive, the nitrogen dissolved in the blood stream, gets converted into bubbles. These cause a number of symptoms which indicate an attack of bends or decompression illness.

In circumstances such as these, it is important to rush the afflicted person to a hyperbaric chamber where the conditions of the dive are recreated so that the person gets a chance to have the nitrogen bubbles dissolve into the blood stream once again. Such a facility has to operate under the supervision of a trained hyperbaric diving doctor.

There are a diverse number of symptoms that pertain to decompression illness or bends.  Considering the serious nature of this illness, it is better to err on the side of caution by treating the person for bends, if they report a symptom with 48 hours of having completed a dive. Any delay in treatment can lead to serious long term damage that is permanent.

Divers as a rule should keep themselves abreast about bends in terms of how best to avoid them, the signs and symptoms of the illness, and the treatments available. They should also have a fair amount of knowledge about the emergency measures that can be taken.  For example one needs to check for hypothermia and keep the person warm, in case they are suffering from it. Next they should immediately be transferred to a hyperbaric chamber facility in a supine position.

Also it would be ideal if they took some preventive measures as well. Like sticking to their diving tables when it comes to, timing their ascent. This would save them a lot of grief later. They would also be well advised to take any symptoms seriously, and get them attended to. Blaming oneself for the bends is not an option, and neither is not getting treated; since these can happen to anyone!


All divers should also ensure that they know of the location of the nearest hyperbaric chamber facility, whenever they go for diving at a new location. At the time of a medical emergency, you don’t want to be stranded with no access to required medical attention. All in all, diving is a great joy, but it comes with its own set of rules and you ignore those at your own peril. You follow the rules and you will be safe.

Michael David is a diving enthusiast and blogs about it regularly. He also is something of an authority on the subject of bends or decompression illness and he highly recommends visiting a diving doctor such in case, a decompression illness transpires.

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