Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment Warning Signs Prevention Underlying Cause

Barotrauma Overview

Another name for Barotrauma is Decompression Illness.

What is decompression illness?
A diver with decompression illness has symptoms and physical findings that occur when ascending to the surface too quickly after a dive. If a diver ascends too rapidly, inhaled nitrogen forms bubbles in the bloodstream. The bubbles interfere with blood flow, which reduces the supply of oxygen to organs. Divers call this condition "the bends."

What are the symptoms of decompression illness?
Common symptoms of decompression illness include chest pain, breathing difficulty, difficulty walking, joint pains, and muscle pain.

How does the doctor treat decompression illness?
Treatment for decompression illness may include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, narcotic pain medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Barotrauma Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Barotrauma References
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