Consequences of U.S. Navy Diving Mishaps: Air Embolism and Barotrauma.
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Pulmonary barotrauma and air embolism have been reported to be second only to drowning as the leading causes of death among sport and scuba divers. Barotraumas and air embolisms accounted for 21.9 and 3.6, respectively, of all U.S. Navy diving mishaps recorded from 1968 through 1981. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to examine the short- and long-term health effects of an air embolism n27 or barotrauma n138 during January 1968 through December 1979. Results identified three deaths because of an air embolism and a physical disability for deafness. Two other divers were hospitalized for ear and hearing problems. The incidence of the barotrauma and the subsequent hospitalization for ear and hearing conditions in three divers suggested that the barotrauma was the genesis of these disorders. No relationships between prior admissions and subsequent diving accidents could be established from an examination of diagnoses or proximity of events in time. The loss of three lives to air embolism and the incidence of ear and hearing problems in three divers emphasized the need to further promote adherence to the safety procedures established by the Navy diving community.
- Stress Physiology
- Environmental Health and Safety