Philip Hendy, Christopher Williams, and Jules Eden highlight the ways in which you can get involved in diving medicine and what a career in this field entails
- By: Philip A Hendy, Christopher John Williams, Jules Eden
Diving medicine includes the prevention, recognition, and management of diving related injuries. This might range from education of divers and certification of fitness to dive to the management of tympanic membrane rupture or treating acute decompression illness (“the bends”) in a recompression chamber using hyperbaric oxygen.
When divers go underwater they are exposed to a large number of unique hazards. Most are directly related to the pressure changes experienced underwater and to breathing compressed gases at depth. Large pressure changes on ascent and descent can lead to barotrauma of gas-containing organs such as the ears, the lungs, and the nasal sinuses. High partial pressures of inspired nitrogen can result in large volumes of dissolved nitrogen in the body tissues, causing nitrogen narcosis at depth and decompression illness on ascent as the nitrogen comes out of solution forming bubbles.
As recreational scuba diving becomes increasingly popular both at home and abroad,