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A Practical Look at Decompression Illness BENDS IS NOT A DIRTY WORD Joel Silverstein Scuba Training + Travel Co.

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Presentation on theme: "A Practical Look at Decompression Illness BENDS IS NOT A DIRTY WORD Joel Silverstein Scuba Training + Travel Co."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Practical Look at Decompression Illness BENDS IS NOT A DIRTY WORD Joel Silverstein Scuba Training + Travel Co.

2 History n n During City Island Chamber in NY was operated by the Extended Range Diving Organization Inc. A not-for-profit diver company. The facility operated on a 24 hour a day 7 day a week basis exclusively for the treatment of recreational divers. n n This program was developed as a result of what City Island Chamber learned during the treatment of over 56 divers on over 200 treatments. n n City Island Chamber is not in operations today. It was a stop gap measure during a critical time in East Coast Diving. Hospital facilities now serve that need.

3 What is The Bends? n It is the syndrome of joint pain, numbness, paralysis and other symptoms caused by the release of gas dissolved in tissues, which forms bubbles in the blood upon surfacing after a scuba or compressed gas dive. n Bubbles forming in tissues near joints cause the pain of classical bends. When high levels of bubble formation occur, complex reactions take place, which can cause other symptoms.

4 When does it show up? n Symptoms and signs can appear within 20 minutes to 48 hours after surfacing from any dive. n Severe cases can show symptoms in- water or immediately upon surfacing.

5 Who is thought to be a Bent Diver? n Divers who exceed no-deco limits n Deep divers n Cold water divers n Inexperienced divers n Divers with risky profiles n Stupid divers n Bad divers

6 CITY ISLAND CHAMBER 1994 STATISTICS 0 %Technical Diver 17%Deeper than 130 fsw 17%No Timing Device 41%Multi-day Trips 48%Caribbean/Mexico 52%Fly < 24 hrs. after diving Population n = 29 42%No Safety Stops 52%Computer Users 55% < 100 fsw 79%Repetitive Diving 79%No-Deco Dives

7 Sources of Myths n Instructors n Retailers n Resort Operators n Medical Personnel n Training Agencies n Poor Press Coverage n Uninformed Divers n Divers in Denial n Effects of Alcohol n Party Mentality n Peer Pressure

8 Emotional Issues n Anxiety n Shame n Humiliation n Guilt n Incompetence n Exaggerated fears of treatment n Fear of inability to dive again n Real concern for physical well-being

9 Diver Denial The diver may mobilize defenses and engage in behaviors that temporarily ease the psychological burden. The diver may mobilize defenses and engage in behaviors that temporarily ease the psychological burden. Jennifer C. Hunt, Ph.D. aquaCorps, N5 Jennifer C. Hunt, Ph.D. aquaCorps, N5

10 Injured Divers First Reactions n Not me, Im a good diver. n Only bad divers get bent. n Its only a sprain. n I probably have the flu. n Im just tired. n Im within the tables. n My computer says Im O.K. n I dont want to ruin the trip.

11 Secondary Reactions n Maybe I am hurt. n It will probably go away. n I dont want to go to a chamber. n Can I afford treatment? n Am I insured? n If I am bent can I ever dive again? n Im probably not bent.

12 DCI Signs and Symptoms n Disorientation n Dizziness n Fatigue n Hearing Difficulties n Muscle Pain n Numbness n Joint Pain n Paralysis n Skin Rash n Slurred Speach n Agitation n Tingling n Vision Problems n Weakness

13 Treatment Delays n 55 % delayed treatment for 48 hours or longer. n 38 % had signs and symptoms that forced them to seek treatment in under 24 hours. n 14 % had significant delays due to seeking help from non-diving medical personnel Bends Report n = 29

14 DELAYING TREATMENT % of Divers with Post-Treatment Residuals as a Function of Treatment Delay 1993 DAN Accident Report

15 Incident Management n At first sign % Oxygen. n Tell someone (buddy, boat captain, etc.) n DO NOT let anyone minimize your urgency. n Monitor your changes. n Call for help USCG - DAN n Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. n DO NOT take minor signs lightly. n Never re-enter the water. n Get to a recompression facility fast.

16 How Recompression Works n A room is pressurized with air while a diver and a medical tender relax inside. n Most treatments are done at 60 fsw ata. n The diver breathes 100 % oxygen by a mask/hood, producing a surface equivalent of 280% oxygen. n Oxygen eliminates nitogen in the body and maximizes bubble resolution. n Oxygenation of areas with compromised blood flow promotes healing.

17 Treatment Schedules n Average initial time at a hyperbaric facility 8 hours n Repeat oxygen treatments last 2 hours. n Depending on DCI severity, treatments can be from 2 to 36 hours. US Navy Treatment Table 5 60 fsw2 hours US Navy Treatment Table 6 60 fsw4 - 6 hours COMEX 30 Treatment Table100 fsw7 - 9 hours US Navy Treatment Table 6a165 fsw5 - 7 hours

18 Bends Prevention n Dive within your training level. n Always do a safety stop. n Limit decompression dives to one a day. n Deepest dive first. n Use conservative dive tables n Take a day off every two on long trips. n 24 hours minimum before flying. n Stay well hydrated. n NO ALCOHOL !

19 What you can do now n Training / Attitude n Community Participation n Peer Support n Organization Support

20 Training n CPR / First Aid n Oxygen Provider Certification n Advanced Diver Certification n NAUI Nitrox training n Rescue training n Introduction to Hyperbarics

21 Community Participation n Dive club meetings n Tours of hyperbaric facilities n Encourage oxygen availability n Promote Responsible Diving n Display safety signs and phone #s

22 Peer Support n Learn signs of diver denial n Encourage early treatment n Dont promote myths n Take bends out of the closet

23 Organization Support n Join UHMS – –Hyperbaric Resources n DAN – –Help Maintain phone service n Volunteer your time

24 Decompression sickness is not an accident; a certain incidence of it is expected from practical diving R.W. Bill Hamilton, Ph.D Decompression sickness is not an accident; a certain incidence of it is expected from practical diving R.W. Bill Hamilton, Ph.D

25 The strong negative social reaction and stigma surrounding DCI increases the trauma, and jeopardizes the healing process. Jennifer C. Hunt, Ph.D. aquaCorps, N5

26 BENDS IS NOT A DIRTY WORD


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