[abstract] PREDICTED PROBABILITY OF DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS IN 159 TREATED CASES WITH DOCUMENTED DIVE PROFILES

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[abstract] PREDICTED PROBABILITY OF DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS IN 159 TREATED CASES WITH DOCUMENTED DIVE PROFILES

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Title: [abstract] PREDICTED PROBABILITY OF DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS IN 159 TREATED CASES WITH DOCUMENTED DIVE PROFILES
Author: Denoble, P; Dunford, R; Sayer, M; Pollock, N; Nord, D; Vann, R
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Recreational diving generally exposes divers to low risk but decompression sickness (DCS) still occurs. To assess risk, we compared dive computer recorded depth-time profiles from dives resulting in DCS with profiles from DCS-free dives. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Symptom-free air and nitrox open-circuit dive profiles were obtained through DANs Project Dive Exploration (PDE). DCS case data classified as Type I, Type II and Ambiguous were provided by PDE, Dan Europe (E DAN), DAN Medical Services Call Center (MSCC), and Dunstaffnage Hyperbaric Unit. The probability of DCS (PDCS) was calculated following the model developed by Gerth & Vann (UHM 1997; 24: 275-92). The PDCS is shown for each subset of data as mean±SD, range and median. Differences were tested by t-test (significance at p<0.05). We did not explore the compliance of divers with instructions provided by their dive computers. RESULTS: For the DCS group (n=159), PDCS=1.31±1.10 (0.11-8.80; median 1.07%). For the DCS-free group (n=63,384), PDCS=0.55±0.54 (0.01-4.20; median 0.50%). PDCS in treated DCS cases was significantly greater than in DCS-free dives. PDCS>1% was found in 16% of DCS-free dives and in 54% of DCS cases. PDCS of Type I (1.53%, n=50) and II DCS (1.26%, n=95) cases were similar while of Ambiguous (0.85%, n=14) was less. There was no difference in PDCS for air (1.29%, n=131) or nitrox dives (1.39%, n=28). CONCLUSIONS: DCS in recreational diving occurred at a wide range of estimated PDCS, but most DCS (54%) occurred where PDCS values were greater than 1%. If PDCS of the diving exposures was limited to 1% or less, the DCS incidence would have been reduced by half while rejecting only 16% of DCS-free dive profiles. This may be achieved by adjusting decompression algorithms either to limit the bottom time in square dives or to add time at intermediate and shallow depths in multilevel dives.
Description: Abstract of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. Annual Scientific Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. (http://www.uhms.org)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9087
Date: 2009

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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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