The oceans are the last frontier on earth, and in recent years there has been a virtual explosion in the number of divers exploring their depths. It is estimated that there are about three million recreational scuba divers in the United States, and more than 200,000 new sport divers are trained each year. In addition, there are many thousands of commercial, scientific and military divers. The medical problems of diving are primarily due to the intrinsic hazards of the aquatic environment and the breathing of compressed gas, that is, air or other gas mixtures at more than one atmosphere of pressure. A useful way of categorizing the many disparate medical problems related to diving is shown. Since it is beyond the scope of this article to review all of these problems, this discussion will focus on the several pressure-related syndromes that are peculiar to diving and collectively known as dysbarism. Emergency physicians should be familiar with the management of these problems because the ever-increasing number of divers and the burgeoning diving vacation industry, which accounts for many injured divers presenting to emergency departments far removed from the diving site, make these problems increasingly common.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America|
|State||Published - 1984|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Emergency Medicine