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A 31-year-old member asked:

why do professional divers fear the bends?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Decompression : Deep diving causes nitrogen to dissolve in blood and creates bubbles in blood in coming up. The bubbles in blood cause damage in various organs including brain, spinal cord and bones. Blockage of blood vessels in the bones caused bone necrosis and pain. The term bends comes form similarity to a dance move that people with bone infarcts tend to have.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
The Bends: Decompression sickness (dcs) is also called the bends. When a diver descends in the water- pressure increases. As the diver ascends there is less pressure which allows dissolved gas to form bubbles in body tissues. This can cause a variety of different symptoms ; in some cases can lead to death. It could also occur in an unpressurized aircraft going to high altitude, if a halo parachutist does not.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
pre-breath oxygen & in caisson workers. The Bends cause lots of pain. The term “bends” reportedly originated w men who worked on the Brooklyn Bridge Caissons who stooped due to hip & leg pain. Their co-workers jokingly referred to their posture as “Grecian Bend” which was a posture that fashionable women of that era used. In 1894 a surgeon named Andrew Smith described this.
Feb 1, 2014

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