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Document ID (ISN)101639
CIS number 03-637
ISSN - Serial title 0095-6562 - Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
Year 2002
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Balldin U.I., Pilmanis A.A., Webb J.T.
Title Pulmonary decompression sickness at altitude: Early symptoms and circulating gas emboli
Bibliographic information Oct. 2002, Vol.73, No.10, p.996-999. 13 ref.
Abstract Pulmonary altitude decompression sickness (DCS) is characterized by substernal pain, cough and dyspnoea, probably associated with a severe accumulation of gas bubbles in the pulmonary capillaries. It may rapidly develop into a life-threatening medical emergency. This study was aimed at characterizing early DCS symptomatology and the appearance of gas emboli. Symptoms of simulated-altitude DCS and gas emboli (detected with ultrasound imaging) were analysed in 468 subjects who participated in hypobaric chamber tests between 1983 and 2001. Symptoms of DCS were found in 41% of exposures to simulated altitude. Only 29 of these exposures included DCS-related pulmonary symptoms, including 27 cases of gas emboli and 21 cases of severe gas emboli. The mean onset times of venous gas emboli and symptoms in the 29 exposures were 42min and 109min, respectively. In 15 subjects, the symptoms disappeared after recompression followed by two hours of oxygen breathing. In the remaining 14 cases, the symptoms disappeared with immediate hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Descriptors (primary) decompression sickness; hypobaric facilities; symptoms
Descriptors (secondary) negative pressure; air embolism; dyspnoea; ultrasonic examinations; long-term study; oxygen therapy; simulation facilities
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceUSA
Subject(s) Occupational pathology
Broad subject area(s) Occupational medicine, epidemiology
Browse category(ies) Hyperbaric pressure