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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Decompression Sickness What is it? What causes it? How to cure it Symptoms DCS is an illness resulting from inadequate decompression following exposure to increased pressure During a dive, the body tissues absorb nitrogen from the breathing gas in proportion to the surrounding pressure. If the diver resurfaces too quickly, the nitrogen is released too rapidly and forms bubbles in tissues and the bloodstream, resulting in joint pain. Severe cases can cause numbness, paralysis, and lung/circulatory shock. Can arise any time from 15 minutes to 12 hours after resurfacing and include:Unusual fatigue, itchy skin, joint pain, dizziness, numbness, shortness of breath Recompression is the easiest way to cure it. The diver can visit a hyperbaric chamber that will pressurize with air and oxygen to stimulate the pressures the diver faced in the ocean. At this pressure, bubbles are reduced in size and reabsorbed to ensure adequate blood flow. This prevents the formation of more bubbles and gives high amounts of oxygen to injured tissues. Analogy Divers absorb nitrogen like a sponge. If you slowly submerge a sponge in water, it soaks up water at a gradual rate. Then, if you retrieve it slowly and squeeze gently it also releases at a gradual rate. This is the goal for divers, but if things go awry and they submerge too quickly, they will not be able to release the nitrogen at a gradual rate and this causes decompression sickness! Less than 1% of all divers fall victim to DCS There is one death of ECS for every 76,900 dives There is one case of DCS for every 7,400 dives
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