What happens when divers get the bends?

Symptoms can include fatigue and pain in muscles and joints. In the more severe type, symptoms may be similar to those of stroke or can include numbness, tingling, arm or leg weakness, unsteadiness, vertigo (spinning), difficulty breathing, and chest pain.

At what depth do you get the bends?

A US Air Force study reports that there are few occurrences between 5,500 m (18,000 ft) and 7,500 m (24,600 ft) and 87% of incidents occurred at or above 7,500 m (24,600 ft).

What happens when divers get the bends? – Related Questions

Can you heal from the bends?

The Bends Prognosis

Prognosis is good with hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Delay to hyperbaric oxygen treatment: Although reports show that divers can do well after days of symptoms, delay in definitive treatment may cause damage that is irreversible.

How long do the bends last?

On average a diver with DCS will experience symptoms between 15 minutes and 12 hours following a dive.

How serious are the bends?

Decompression sickness (DCS), known as ‘the bends’ because of the associated joint pain, is a potentially deadly condition caused by bubbles of nitrogen gas forming in the blood and tissues. It’s most common among divers using scuba tanks, but can affect free-divers and people at high altitude.

How do doctors treat the bends?

The diver affected by the bends or decompression sickness will typically be given high-flow oxygen and IV fluids. Treatment involves recompression in a hyperbaric chamber.

Can you avoid getting the bends?

Diving conservatively and ascending slowly are effective ways to reduce your risk of the bends. That said, it’s possible to make the same dive 99 times without issue, and on the 100th dive experience decompression sickness.

Why do sharks not get the bends?

Marine mammals’ chest structure allows their lungs to compress. Scientists have assumed that this passive compression was marine mammals’ main adaptation to avoid taking up excessive nitrogen at depth and getting the bends.

Why do seals not get the bends?

Because the seal’s lung is collapsed, the bloodstream has only as much nitrogen as can stay dissolved at sea level air pressure. No additional nitrogen can enter. The deep-diving mammals can race back to the surface as fast as they want.

Why are you not allowed to touch seals?

They will bite – and serious infections can be transmitted to you or your pet. Seals are mammals, as are we. They are susceptible to and can pass on nasty viruses such as herpes. Zoonosis — infectious diseases of animals that can naturally be transmitted to humans — is the biggest threat.

Why do seals wear jeans?

Specifically during late 1970 and early 1971, SEALs donned Levi’s jeans in combat. Denim could better withstand the rigors of the jungle climate, providing improved protection from leeches, mosquitos and other bugs, especially when combined with a layer of pantyhose underneath.

Can pilots get the bends?

The longer the duration of the exposure to altitudes of 18,000 ft. and above, the greater the risk of altitude DCS. There are some reports indicating a higher risk of altitude DCS with increasing age. There is some indication that recent joint or limb injuries may predispose individuals to developing “the bends.”

Can the bends come back?

Symptoms may resolve spontaneously, and the diver may not seek treatment. The consequences of this are similar to untreated DCS. Residual brain damage may occur, making it more likely there will be residual symptoms after a future AGE — even after treating the later instance.

How do penguins not get the bends?

Now researchers have discovered a diving habit that may help explain why: On their way up from the deep, Adélie and king penguins slow down and surface at an oblique angle–in effect mimicking the careful decompression of human divers.

What mammal can dive the deepest?

When it comes to mammalian free-divers, the cetaceans beat even the best of us fins down. In the lead are Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) that can dive from the ocean’s surface down to 2,992m (9,816ft) thanks to adaptations that help them conserve oxygen and survive extreme pressure .

How far down can an elephant seal dive?

Elephant seals are remarkable divers, spending up to 1.5 hours underwater and reaching depths of more than 1700 meters in their search for food.