Decompression illness

From Academic Kids

Decompression illness (DCI) is any of the diving disorders caused by the presence of bubbles of gas in the diver's body. These bubbles may be caused by:

The most common symptoms include weakness; pain in the joints, torso or back; extreme fatigue; headaches; nausea; and numbness.

First Aid

First aid for DCI is administered by:

  • Monitoring the victim for responsiveness, airway, breathing and circulation, to resucitate if necessary. The victim should be laid on his or her back or (for drowsy, unconscious, or nauseated victims) on their side.
  • Seeking of immediate medical aid and consultation with a diving medical specialist.

Details of recent dives and responses to first aid treatment should be recorded and provided to the treating medical specialist. The diving details should include depth and time profiles, breathing gases used and surface intervals.

The victim may be allowed to drink water or isotonic fluids only if they are responsive, stable, and not suffering from nausea or stomach pain. Administration of saline via intravenous drip is preferable.

Reference

  • Diving First Aid Manual, John Lippmann and Stan Bugg, DAN SEAP Membership Edition
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