decompression sickness


decompression sickness

noun

Definition of DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS

:  a sometimes fatal disorder that is marked by neuralgic pains and paralysis, distress in breathing, and often collapse and that is caused by the release of gas bubbles (as of nitrogen) in tissue upon too rapid decrease in air pressure after a stay in a compressed atmosphere —called also bends, caisson disease — compare aeroembolism

First Known Use of DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS

1941

decompression sickness

noun    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS

: a sometimes fatal disorder that is marked by neuralgic pains and paralysis, distress in breathing, and often collapse and that is caused by the release of gas bubbles (as of nitrogen) in tissue upon too rapid decrease in air pressure after a stay in a compressed atmosphere—called also bends, caisson disease, decompression illness, decompression syndrome; see aeroembolism

decompression sickness

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Harmful effects of rapid change from a higher- to a lower-pressure environment. Small amounts of the gases in air are dissolved in body tissues. When pilots of unpressurized aircraft go to high altitudes or when divers breathing compressed air return to the surface, external pressure on the body decreases and the gases come out of solution. Rising slowly allows the gases to enter the bloodstream and be taken to the lungs and exhaled; with a quicker ascent, the gases (mostly nitrogen) form bubbles in the tissues. In the nervous system, they can cause paralysis, convulsions, motor and sensory problems, and psychological changes; in the joints, severe pain and restricted mobility (the bends); in the respiratory system, coughing and difficulty breathing. Severe cases include shock. Recompression in a hyperbaric chamber followed by gradual decompression cannot always reverse tissue damage.

Variants of DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS

decompression sickness also called the bends or caisson disease

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