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Bubble trouble: a review of diving physiology and disease

Levett, DZH; Millar, IL; (2008) Bubble trouble: a review of diving physiology and disease. POSTGRAD MED J , 84 (997) 571 - 578. 10.1136/pgmj.2008.068320.

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Abstract

Exposure to the underwater environment for recreational or occupational purposes is increasing. Approximately 7 million divers are active worldwide and 500 000 more are training every year. Diving related illnesses are consequently an increasingly common clinical problem with over 1000 cases of decompression illness reported annually in the USA alone. Divers are exposed to a number of physiological risks as a result of the hyperbaric underwater environment including: the toxic effects of hyperbaric gases, the respiratory effects of increased gas density, drowning, hypothermia and bubble related pathophysiology. Understanding the nature of this pathophysiology provides insight into physiological systems under stress and as such may inform translational research relevant to clinical medicine. We will review current diving practice, the physics and physiology of the hyperbaric environment, and the pathophysiology and treatment of diving related diseases. We will discuss current developments in diving research and some potential translational research areas.

Type:Article
Title:Bubble trouble: a review of diving physiology and disease
DOI:10.1136/pgmj.2008.068320
Keywords:NEUROLOGICAL DECOMPRESSION ILLNESS, HYPERBARIC-OXYGEN, AIR-EMBOLISM, REPERFUSION INJURY, CEREBRAL-ISCHEMIA, PULMONARY-EDEMA, BREATHING AIR, GAS EMBOLISM, NITRIC-OXIDE, SICKNESS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Biosciences (Division of)

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