The two biggest pitfalls with decompression illness are:

  • Not putting the patient on high flow oxygen, even if their oxygen saturations are high
  • Not calling for help soon enough. The National Diving Accident Helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 07831 151 523

All patients who may have decompression illness, should be started on high flow oxygen immediately regardless of their oxygen saturations. Oxygen is one of the only treatments, other than recompression therapy, which has strong evidence for its benefit.5

It is imperative to call a diving physician for help as soon as possible. Patients with DCI need recompression therapy, and this should not be delayed.

Decompression illness can present with a myriad of symptoms.

Pain and other symptoms in divers are not always due to DCI.

Urinary retention is relatively common with decompression illness so it is always worth having a low threshold for catheterising patients.

Post a comment

Leave a Comment