Medical director Dr. José Mª Inoriza. -

Urgent assistance by decompression

Sportsmen or workers underwater can have decompression sickness, an affectation that might have severe consequences and that needs to be treated urgently in the hyperbaric chamber.

The hyperbaric chamber of the Costa Brava hospital is the only one present in the Catalonian coast. The hyperbaric medicine clinic was funded in 1994 to treat the numerous incidents in the diving centers nearby.

Decompression sickness happens when the diver ascends too quickly, and the body does not have enough time to balance the rapid pressure change with the nitrogen level in blood. Divers that go deeper suffer from worse atmospheric pressure. This translates in an increase of nitrogen from blood to the tissues, which cannot metabolize it. When they finally make it to the surface, if the decompression is messy, it might form a bubble of nitrogen big enough to block the blood flood, producing a stroke.

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