Barotrauma/Decompression Sickness (cont.)
The best prevention against barotrauma is to plan and prepare for your dive properly.
- Make sure you are in good health with no upper respiratory or sinus problems.
- Obtain the proper training and always use the buddy system (never dive alone).
- Check that your equipment is in good working order.
- Know the local emergency phone numbers in advance and have a means of contacting help, for instance, with a cellular phone. (The location of the nearest recompression facility could be very important in a problem such as air embolism.)
- Newer "dive computers" designed to maximize safety can be used and may allow longer diving times and fewer or shorter decompression stops. They provide information similar to the original diving tables but are more precise. Be certain you are familiar with their use before depending on them.
- Avoid flying in a plane within 24 hours of diving to reduce the risk of "the bends" occurring unexpectedly in the lower air pressure of an airplane cabin.
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