[abstract] COMMERCIAL AIRFLIGHT AFTER RECOMPRESSION THERAPY FOR DECOMPRESSION ILLNESS

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[abstract] COMMERCIAL AIRFLIGHT AFTER RECOMPRESSION THERAPY FOR DECOMPRESSION ILLNESS

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Title: [abstract] COMMERCIAL AIRFLIGHT AFTER RECOMPRESSION THERAPY FOR DECOMPRESSION ILLNESS
Author: Uguccioni, DM; Dovenbarger, JA; Hobgood, JA; Moon, RE
Abstract: BACKGROUND: While there is no universal agreement on the appropriate interval before flying after recompression therapy for DCI, a common recommendation is 72 hours. We present a retrospective study of treated DCI to determine symptom reoccurrence during flight. METHODS: All cases in the Divers Alert Network (DAN) database for which treatment was administered from 1993-1995 in either Grand Cayman or Cozumel and was followed by a flight to the US were reviewed. Follow-up was attempted by telephone. RESULTS: Of 151 cases eligible for the study, follow-up was available on 126. The median number of initial treatments was two (range 1-22). Seventy-four cases (59percent) waited lass than 72 hours before flight; most of these waited 48 hours (52 cases (41percent)); Four individuals (3percent) flew within 12 hours of treatment. Fifty-two inidividuals (41percent) waited 72 hours or more before flying; 17 (percent) of these who waited greater than 4 day to travel; one individual waited 14 days before flight. Data are summerized in the table. Relief After Original Treatment Yes (N=95) No (N=31), Flight less than 72 hours 54 (73percent) 20 (27percent), Return/worsening during flight 3 17, Subsequent recompression 2 8, Resolution after 2nd treatment 1 3, Flight less than = 72 hours 41 (79percent) 11 (21percent), Return/worsening during flight 6 5, Subsequent recompression 5 1, Resolution after 2nd treatment 3 2. Of the symptoms, which recurred or were exacerbated by flight, nine were severe neurological symptoms, 17 were mild neurological symptoms and five were pain only symptoms (DAN Annual Report on Decompression Illness and Diving Fatalities, 1997). CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective review shows that there was a subset of divers in both groups who experienced a return or worsening of symptoms with commercial flights after treatment. The return was more likely in those divers who did not have completely resolved symptoms prior to flight and symptoms lasted longer in those who flew in less than 72 hours after initial treatment.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/679
Date: 1998

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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