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Diving Injuries

Proper identification and treatment of possible diving injury is requisite.

Barotrauma: Ears / Sinus / Lungs

Decompression Sickness / Bends

Ear Barotrauma Lung Barotrauma An Underwater Diver
Photo by Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Pressure injury can occur in the enclosed cavity body spaces of the middle ear, sinuses and lungs. Barotrauma typically occurs to air spaces within a body when that body moves to or from a higher pressure environment.

Decompression sickness diving injury, otherwise known as "the bends," is nitrogen bubble formation in the soft tissues of the body. Recompression in a hyperbaric chamber is the treatment of choice.

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Near Drowning & Other Injuries

An Underwater Diver A Drowning Swimmer
Photo by Image*After, used under Public Domain license

The drop in core body temperature can result in a serious health threat for divers and others engaged in water sports. Hypothermia is a condition in which core temperature drops below that required for normal body functions, which is defined as 35.0 °C or 95.0 °F.

Near drowning is a threat for all people engaged in water sports. Complications include acute respiratory distress syndrome, fulminant pneumonia and delayed death. Hospitalization is requisite with application of IV antibiotics and corticosteroids.

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Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Care
at Walnut Creek

216 N. Wiget Lane
Walnut Creek, California 94598

Phone: +1 (925) 357-8834
Fax: +1 (925) 357-8382

Diving Injury Causes

Knowing the root causes of dive accident triggerring events provides us with the best information for preventing accidents. Diver's Alert Network (DAN) has identified five root causes:

  1. Some sort of pre-existing disease pathology in the diver
  2. Poor buoyancy control
  3. Rapid ascent or violent water movement
  4. Gas-supply problems
  5. Equipment problems
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