Font Size

Decompression Syndromes: The Bends (cont.)

The Bends Prognosis

Prognosis or outlook of people that develop the bends varies with the following factors:

  • Prognosis is good with hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
  • Delay to hyperbaric oxygen treatment: Although reports show that victims can do well after days of symptoms, delay in definitive treatment may cause damage that is irreversible.
  • Severity of symptoms: Joint pains alone do better than focal weakness or inability to urinate.
  • Preexisting health: Young, healthy people can tolerate a greater insult to their health than an older person with other diseases.

The Bends Pictures

State-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen chamber by HyperTec.
State-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen chamber by HyperTec. Click to view larger image.

State-of-the-art single person chamber by HyperTec.
State-of-the-art single person chamber by HyperTec. Click to view larger image.

Simulated dive.
Simulated dive. Click to view larger image.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine

REFERENCE: Decompression Sickness.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2016
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Decompression Syndromes: The Bends

Abdominal Pain (Adults)
Abdominal Pain in Adults Abdominal pain in adults can range from a mild stomach ache to severe pain. Examples of causes of abdominal pain in adults include learn more >>
Scuba Diving: Barotrauma and Decompression Sickness
Barotrauma/Decompression Sickness Barotrauma and decompression sickness refers to medical problems that occur during diving. These problems include decompression illness (the bends), external ea...learn more >>
Joint Pain
Joint Pain Joint pain can be caused by injury or disease affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Pain also occurs with joint inflammation...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Decompression Syndromes: The Bends:

Decompression Syndromes: The Bends - Experience

Please describe your experience with decompression sickness.

The Bends - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience from the bends from scuba diving?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Decompression Sickness »

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.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary