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A 17 year old boy was scuba diving with his father. Soon after coming to surface, he began to experience symptoms of decompression illness, including joint pains, itchiness, ataxia, paresthesias, and confusion. He has been placed on 100% oxygen by non-rebreather and an IV has been placed and the plan is to transport him to a facility with a hyperbaric chamber.
Kelly January 20, 2018 - 2:19 am
The answer is C. Decompression illness, aka “the bends” occurs due to gas bubbles released into tissue and vasculature, and can occur when scuba divers ascend too quickly or perform repetitive dives. Symptoms include: joint pains; cutaneous itching, mottling, or erythema; neurologic symptoms such as paresthesias, weakness, ataxia, memory loss; and pulmonary symptoms such as chest pain, wheezing, dyspnea, and air emboli. The transport vehicle to be used is most important because air transport with ascending to altitude, even by helicopter, could result in further formation of gas bubbles and exacerbation of decompression illness. While critically ill patients may still require air transport in order to facilitate rapid definitive treatment, consideration of the risks and benefits is important, and low-flying helicopters are preferable to fixed wing transport when air transport is required. For more info: http://epmonthly.com/article/decompression-sickness-2/