A person with a medical condition called bends, or decompression sickness, cannot be flown in an airplane to a hospital. This is because the change in pressure during flight can cause bends to worsen, and the person may need to be treated in a recompression chamber, which is not available on an airplane.
Can You Fly With The Bends?
Diver who have experienced skin bends in other types of decompression sickness should not fly unless medically cleared by a doctor who specializes in diving medicine. Dan is always available to assist divers, dive professionals, and medical professionals with questions about diving symptoms.
Flying And Decompression Sickness: What You Need To Know
Can flying increase the risk of Degenerative Decompression Sickness (DDS)? Degenerative sickness is more likely to develop at high altitudes (18,000 to 25,000 feet). Decompression sickness increases significantly if you fly at altitudes above 25,000 feet. Can we escape the bends? Treatment with 100% oxygen and followed by recompression in a hyperbaric chamber typically does not result in long-term side effects. Damage to the head from DCS can lead to long-term brain damage. Will the bends turn away on their own? In some cases, symptoms may not appear or may even go away entirely. The severity of the symptoms can sometimes rise until they require medical attention, and it can also have long-term consequences. What happens when you don’t treat bends? When pain from the joints does not subside after a certain amount of time, it can result in small areas of bone damage (osteonecrosis). It is possible that a repeated DCS will cause bone damage, resulting in brittle bones or joints collapsing and becoming arthritic.
What Is The Best Transport Decision For A Patient With Decompression Sickness?
Hyperbaric therapy is still the primary treatment option for people who suffer from decompression illness. We should start this process as soon as possible. In general, helicopter air ambulance service is the most efficient method of transportation.
A buildup of gas bubbles in the blood and tissues is the cause of DCS, which can be fatal. The bubbles can reduce blood flow, causing tissue ischemia and necrosis. Headaches, nausea, and confusion are common symptoms of DCS. In most cases, a toxic reaction to carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause of DCS. When you breathe in a lot of CO2 while scuba diving or diving, you get this. A number of other causes, such as a pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, or head injury, are also possible. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO therapy) is commonly used to treat mild cases of DCS. It is used in HBO therapy to remove gas bubbles through the use of pressurized air. For patients who require continuous treatment, the procedure is usually completed every two hours. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible: confusion, dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, and chest pain. You should be taken to the hospital if you are unable to breathe on your own due to DCS.
What Is The Emergency Medical Care For Patients Suffering From Decompression Sickness?
If the DCS is unable to provide oxygen, he or she must evacuate patients to a nearby medical facility. Make certain that you contact emergency medical services first, followed by DAN.
The Dangers Of Decompression Sickness
It is extremely common for decompression sickness to be caused by a scuba or diving gear malfunction. Many factors can contribute to this, such as a mask that isn’t properly fitted, a heavy jacket that isn’t properly inflated, or a dive tank that isn’t properly pressurized. Nitrogen narcosis, a condition that can lead to decompression sickness, can also be the cause of decompression sickness. As nitrogen gas is added to the water, the diver’s body becomes overwhelmed, resulting in this condition. When a diver reaches around 100 feet deep, the symptoms of nitrogen narcosis are most likely to show up. If the diver swims deeper, he or she will not become infected with them. At a depth of 300 feet, the symptoms become more serious. When a diver returns to the surface, symptoms usually disappear in a matter of minutes. You should stop diving and climbing to the surface as soon as you are unable to breathe or if you experience any of the following symptoms during a dive: confusion, difficulty breathing, dizziness, headache, nausea, or vomiting. If you have any of these symptoms while diving and they persist for at least a few minutes after landing, you should consult a medical professional.
How Does Ems Treat Decompression Sickness?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) therapy, which involves significantly higher pressure than atmospheric pressure, is the most effective treatment for DCS. HBO therapy reduces the size of any bubbles, improves gradient formation, and promotes oxygen delivery and inert gas elimination.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treats Pulmonary Dcs
In pulmonary DCS, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an effective treatment. When there is a high concentration of oxygen in the treatment environment, the gas bubbles are broken down, their size is reduced, and they are expelled from the body. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also be used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning and diabetic foot ulcers, in addition to other health problems. Speak with your doctor about whether or not hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help you if you have pulmonary DCS symptoms.
Can You Fly With Decompression Sickness?
After being exposed to a rapid decompression during an inflight, the airplane must not fly for at least 24 hours. You should keep an eye out for symptoms of delayed onset or altitude DCS in the meantime. If you have a delayed symptom or if you have a sudden onset of altitude DCS, it is critical to seek medical attention right away.
The Best Seat On The Plane For Motion Sickness
If you have motion sickness, avoid seats near the back of the plane and instead sit in a row in the middle of the aisle. Before you board the plane, you should also take Dramamine®.
What Do You Do If You Get The Bends?
If you get the bends, you should stop diving and go to a recompression chamber as soon as possible.
Swimming up too quickly can lead to bends, a medical condition caused by excessive overheating. The main concern is for scuba divers as they dive into the water. Joint pain, fatigue, and ear or sinus pain are all symptoms of the condition. If you do not get help as soon as possible, you may die as a result of the bends. By swimming up to the surface in sections and taking a short break between each layer, you can prevent the bends entirely. Diving may increase the size of gas bubbles inside of your hernia if you are untreated. Because of their unique characteristics, people with heart defects and asthma are more vulnerable to pressure changes.
If you attempt to surface in shallow water after 30 minutes, you may run into the bends if your head is too high. If you’re diving into the depths of 10–20 feet (3.0–6.1 m) on a daily basis, you should take at least one day off per week. Within a few hours of treatment, the bends will subside in a hyperbaric chamber. Nitrogen is transformed into liquid nitrogen using these chambers, which is less painful for your body to process. If you are experiencing pain or are sick, you should seek medical attention.
Recreational scuba divers, particularly those who conduct shallow dives, have experienced an increase in bends in recent years. According to the National Centers for Environmental Health (NCEH), there has been a 40% increase in the incidence of bends among recreational divers from 2002 to 2007. The NCEH has not yet determined the cause of this increase, but there are a few theories. Divers are increasing the risk of diving bends as a result of the increase in recreational diving popularity, according to one theory. Another theory is that as a result of the increased use of air tanks and scuba gear, more divers are exceeding their recommended air supply limits, which can cause bends. There is no treatment for bends other than rest and medication. If you have any symptoms of a bent foot, it is strongly advised that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Scuba Divers: Be On The Lookout For Signs Of Dcs In Your Buddies
When scuba diving with friends, always keep an eye out for them and be ready to assist if they begin to exhibit symptoms of DCS, such as fatigue, pain, or loss of consciousness. If you or a friend believe they may have the bends, their best option is to contact emergency medical services and then the DAN, the diving organization for professional athletes. A scuba diver with severe DCS may need to recompression, but he or she must be stabilized prior to being transported to a chamber.
Decompression sickness occurs when dissolved gases come out of solution in bubbles. The severity of the condition depends on the rate of decompression and the size of the bubbles. Symptoms can range from joint pain and skin rashes to paralysis and death. The condition is treated by recompressing the affected person to the depth of the dive and then slowly bringing them to the surface.
Bubbles in the blood and tissues form in the case of decompression sickness as nitrogen dissolved in the blood and tissues is elevated to extremely high pressure. The muscles and joints of the body can experience fatigue and pain. In severe cases, symptoms such as numbness, tingling, arm or leg weakness, unsteadiness, dizziness (spinning), difficulty breathing, and chest pain may resemble those of stroke. Inflammation of the skin, itching, rash, swelling of the arm, chest, or abdomen, and extreme fatigue are all symptoms of decompression sickness. Depending on the severity of the pain, it may be described as sharp or as something boring into the bone. A brain embolism is similar to an air embolism in that symptoms include numbness and weakness. A person may experience numbness, paralysis, or even death as a result of a neurological disorder.
Osteoarthritis is caused by osteonecrosis and can result in persistent pain and disability. Divers who dive to deeper waters than recreational divers may be at a higher risk of death. Divers attempt to avoid gas bubbles when diving to prevent decompression sickness. A spinal cord or brain abnormality can be detected through MRI or computed tomography. Divers frequently stop for a few minutes between 15 feet (4.5 meters) and 18 feet (5.1 meters). No-stop dives can lead to decompression sickness, but a small number of cases develop. In any case, 100% oxygen should be breathed in from a close-fitting face mask. You may be able to recover from a diving injury for up to 48 hours if compression therapy is used.
It is recommended that you consult with your doctor if you experience any symptoms after diving, such as headaches, vision changes, or neurological problems. Although a single treatment with hyperbaric oxygen can usually resolve most of the symptoms, repeated treatments may be required if the symptoms continue. Even if you only dive once in a day, it is still a good idea to avoid diving within one day of each other, as compression sickness can be even worse if you only dive once in a day.
Divers At Risk Of Decompression Sickness May Require Antibiotics
In the immediate aftermath of decompression sickness, antibiotics and pain medication may be prescribed. If the diver has a high risk of developing DCS, such as from a previous episode of decompression sickness, they may require a series of antibiotics prior to diving.