Document Detail

Decompression illness.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21215883     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Decompression illness is caused by intravascular or extravascular bubbles that are formed as a result of reduction in environmental pressure (decompression). The term covers both arterial gas embolism, in which alveolar gas or venous gas emboli (via cardiac shunts or via pulmonary vessels) are introduced into the arterial circulation, and decompression sickness, which is caused by in-situ bubble formation from dissolved inert gas. Both syndromes can occur in divers, compressed air workers, aviators, and astronauts, but arterial gas embolism also arises from iatrogenic causes unrelated to decompression. Risk of decompression illness is affected by immersion, exercise, and heat or cold. Manifestations range from itching and minor pain to neurological symptoms, cardiac collapse, and death. First-aid treatment is 100% oxygen and definitive treatment is recompression to increased pressure, breathing 100% oxygen. Adjunctive treatment, including fluid administration and prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism in paralysed patients, is also recommended. Treatment is, in most cases, effective although residual deficits can remain in serious cases, even after several recompressions.
Richard D Vann; Frank K Butler; Simon J Mitchell; Richard E Moon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Lancet     Volume:  377     ISSN:  1474-547X     ISO Abbreviation:  Lancet     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-01-10     Completed Date:  2011-01-27     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985213R     Medline TA:  Lancet     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  153-64     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Anesthesiology and Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Decompression / adverse effects
Decompression Sickness* / diagnosis,  epidemiology,  etiology,  physiopathology,  therapy
Diving / adverse effects
Embolism, Air / diagnosis,  etiology,  therapy
Emergency Treatment / methods*
Fluid Therapy / methods
Middle Aged
Oxygen / therapeutic use
Severity of Illness Index
Reg. No./Substance:

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