Monday, November 7, 2011

Decompression sickness - Caisson's disease

Caisson's disease.. key-suh n.. :D

Occurs when you return to normal pressure from area of high pressure. 

Do you know that even at about 10 m below the surface the water exerts twice the pressure?
So when you go underwater, the pressure increases.. That's how your lungs end up taking more nitrogen than usual! :O

Water pressure increases.
Pressure of nitrogen increases in compressed air.
Gas density increases.
So you are taking more nitrogen than you'd take on sea level. 
Get it?

You know O2 and CO2 are metabolized... so they get their way out! ;)

BUT instead of being exhaled, however, the extra nitrogen safely dissolves into the tissues, where it remains until the diver begins his or her return to the surface!

On the way up, decompression occurs (in other words, the water pressure drops)
and with the change in pressure, the extra nitrogen gradually diffuses out of the tissues and is delivered by the bloodstream to the lungs, which expel it from the body.

If the diver surfaces too quickly, however, potentially dangerous nitrogen bubbles can form in the tissues. 
The precise reasons for bubble formation remain unclear.

These bubbles can compress nerves, obstruct arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels, and trigger harmful chemical reactions in the blood.

Treatment: Decompress again and recompress slowly in a recompression chamber.
Also give hyperbarric oxygen therapy.

So next time you go underwater, beware! :P
Come up slowly.

That's all! :)

Thank you so much for reading ^_^


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