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    Medical personnel in hyperbaric treatment centres are at occupational risk for decompression sickness (DCS) while attending patients inside the multiplace hyperbaric chamber (MHC). A 51-year-old male hyperbaric physician, also an experienced diver, was working as an inside attendant during a standard hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) session (70 minutes at 253.3 kPa [2.5 atmospheres absolute, 15 metres' seawater equivalent]) in a large walk-in MHC. Within 10 minutes after the end of the session, symptoms of spinal DCS occurred. Recompression started within 90 minutes with an infusion of lignocaine and hydration. All neurological symptoms resolved within 10 minutes breathing 100% oxygen at 283.6 kPa (2.8 atmospheres absolute) and a standard US Navy Treatment Table 6 was completed. He returned to regular hyperbaric work after four weeks of avoiding hyperbaric exposures. Transoesophageal echocardiography with a bubble study was performed 18 months after the event without any sign of a persistent (patent) foramen ovale. Any hyperbaric exposure, even within no-decompression limits, is an essential occupational risk for decompression sickness in internal hyperbaric attendants, especially considering the additional risk factors typical for medical personnel (age, dehydration, tiredness, non-optimal physical capabilities and frequent problems with the lower back). Copyright: This article is the copyright of the authors who grant Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine a non-exclusive licence to publish the article in electronic and other forms.


    Jacek Kot, Ewa Lenkiewicz, Edward Lizak, Piotr Góralczyk, Urszula Chreptowicz. Spinal cord decompression sickness in an inside attendant after a standard hyperbaric oxygen treatment session. Diving and hyperbaric medicine. 2021 Mar 31;51(1):103-106

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    PMID: 33761550

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