Decompression Sickness

Decompression Sickness


caused by : a rapid decrease in the pressure that surrounds you of either air or water.

( It occurs most commonly in scuba or deep-sea divers)


- When you scuba dive with compressed air, you take in extra oxygen and nitrogen.

Your body uses the oxygen, but the nitrogen is dissolved into your blood .


-where it remains during your dive. As you swim back toward the surface after a deep dive, the water pressure around you decreases.


-If this transition occurs too quickly, the nitrogen does not have time to clear from your blood. Instead, it separates out of your blood and forms bubbles in your tissues or blood. It is these nitrogen bubbles that cause decompression sickness.


- The condition is called the bends because the joint and bone pains can be so severe they double you over.  


What happens inside your body during decompression sickness is similar to what happens when you open a carbonated drink. When you open the can or bottle, you decrease the pressure surrounding the beverage in the container, which causes the gas to come out of the liquid in the form of bubbles. If nitrogen bubbles form in your blood, they can damage blood vessels and block normal blood flow.


the points that put you at higher risk of decompression sickness include: 



Heart muscle birth defects, including patent foramen ovale, atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect


Being older than 30


Being female


Low cardiovascular fitness 


High percentage of body fat


Use alcohol or tobacco


Fatigue,seasickness or lace of sleep  


Injuries (old or current)


Diving in cold water


Lungs disease


Symptoms of decompression sickness is :

- Joint pain

- dizziness

- headache

- difficultly thinking clearly

- extreme fatigue

- tingling or numbness

- weaknesses in arm or leg

- skin rash


don't ascend  quickly and follow your dive comoputer or respect the ascent rate 18 m per min


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