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Decompression Sickness

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Decompression Sickness, Constitutional DCS

  • Epidemiology
  1. Recreational Scuba Incidence: 1 per 5-10,000 dives
  2. No-Decompression dives account for 50% of DCS cases
  • Predisposing factors
  1. Dive logistics
    1. Deeper dive profile
    2. Increased rate of ascent
  2. Hypothermia
  3. Fatigue
  4. Advanced age
  5. Dehydration
  6. Alcohol intake
  7. Female gender
  8. Obesity
  9. Patent Foramen Ovale
  • Types of Decompression Sickness
  1. Type I Decompression Sickness (Constitutional DCS)
    1. Mild Fatigue or malaise
    2. Mild symptoms involving muscles, joint and skin
  2. Type II Decompression Sickness (Severe)
    1. Inner Ear DCS
    2. Neurologic DCS
      1. Cerebral DCS (30-40%)
      2. Spinal Cord DCS (50-60%)