Decompression Syndromes: The Bends (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When to Seek Medical Care
Any victim reporting signs or symptoms of decompression illness that began within 48 hours of scuba diving should be seen by a doctor at an emergency care facility immediately.
The doctor will likely presume that a victim reporting symptoms within 48 hours of surfacing from a scuba dive to have decompression illness. It is important to inform the doctor of your recent diving experience and of your symptoms.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/26/2013
Scott D. Fell, DO, FAAEM
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Although decompression sickness (DCS), a complex resulting from changed barometric pressure, includes high-altitude–related and aerospace-related events, this article focuses on decompression associated with the sudden decrease in pressures during underwater ascent, usually occurring during free or assisted dives.