Monday, September 23, 2019

Common Diving Emergencies

emDocs -  Septiember 23, 2019 - By  Humphrey T., Cirone M
Edited by: Koyfman A and Long B
"Key Points
  • Conditions related to descent are generally treated with symptomatic management.
  • Pulmonary barotrauma of ascent can lead to local pulmonary injury, pneumomediastinum, pneumothorax, or AGE.
  • A chest x-ray should be obtained in all cases of suspected pulmonary barotrauma or AGE.
  • Any neurological symptoms or loss of consciousness upon surfacing is considered AGE until proven otherwise. Treatment is supplemental O2, IV fluids, and most importantly, a hyperbaric chamber.
  • Decompression sickness is more appropriately categorized by the organ system affected, as even minor manifestations can progress to more serious forms.
  • While AGE and neurological DCS may be clinically indistinguishable, both are managed similarly with supplemental oxygen, IV fluids, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • In general, AGE and DCS are clinical diagnoses. Labs and imaging should not delay transfer to a hyperbaric facility.
  • Consultation with Diver’s Alert Network (919-684-9111; should be performed early in cases of diving emergencies."