Common Scuba Diving Injuries

You don't want to end up in a wheelchair after scuba diving

You don't want to end up in a wheelchair after scuba diving

I once heard of a story of a man who had to call a doctor because he had a bishop stuck at his beloved rectum.  Two things: (1) The preceding sentence is based on fact and (2) the bishop that I am referring to is the chess piece, not the person.How the bishop ended in that dark and foul place is not of the concern of this post. But if a human being is subject to injuries in the stationary sport of chess, how much more is the scuba diver subject to injuries in the mobile sport of scuba diving?

Injuries experienced on land is already pretty bad, but underwater injuries? Now that sucks. In the next few paragraphs of this post, I shall discuss three injuries in scuba diving that are usually considered as the most common ones. It may sound geeky, and come off as a bit boring, but remember, they are also necessary if the scuba diver plans to be more secure underwater.

After we develop a knowledge and understanding of the effects of these injuries, we shall determine their causes. So readers, brace you brains, refresh  your vocabulary, open a new tab, and go to Google standby, for we are about to get medical.

Barotraumas- “Baro” means pressure. “Trauma” means injury. But to what part of the body does this pressure injury inflict itself? Take a quick guess. No no, not the rectum. It is, in fact, inflicted upon the scuba diver’s ears. Tissue damage to the scuba diver’s middle ear is caused when it fails to equalize its pressure to the pressure of its environment. Barotraumas are most likely to happen during the diver’s descent and ascent.

Arterial Gas Embolism- Here, there is an overexpansion of lungs, which shall tear one’s alveoli. I do not know as to where exactly you can find the alveoli, or what it does, but I am pretty sure it does something to keep us alive. Anyway, when the alveoli are torn, air will escape and reach the pulmonary capillaries. Soon, you blood will become bubbly, and as it circulates, the air will eventually reach the brain, which may cause immediate death once the diver reach the surface. I hate it when that happens.

Decompression Sickness- When the diver goes deeper, atmospheric pressure gets higher, resulting in larger amounts of absorption of nitrogen to the diver’s body. If the diver knows how to handle himself underwater, the nitrogen absorbed will easily and automatically be released through respiration. Abnormal breathing, miscalculations or ignorance of time spent in great depths, and hasty descents and ascents will prevent that nitrogen from leaving your anatomy. I don’t know about you, but unwanted gas wandering inside my body seems highly unhealthy.

Okay. So now we all know what the three most common injuries are called and what they do to us. But the most important question is, what should we do to avoid such injuries? Why didn’t I just mention them earlier as I explained their effects? That is because their causes are all similar.

There are three factors that the scuba diver must take into serious account during his/her dive if he wishes an absent medical bill: The descent to the depths, the total time spent underwater, and the ascent to the surface. During one’s descent and ascent is where the pressure changes the most. And the total time spent in depth is where gas intake will vary.

Should I further go into specifics? I believe I already have. To prevent such injuries stated above, the scuba diver must have a firm knowledge of underwater pressure and time limit. So make sure that you know your stuff before you go scuba diving. It’s a physical and mental sport. You need in depth scuba diving knowledge to make sure you get back to the surface unharmed.

Of course, Expeditionfleet as the best scuba diving cruise in the Philippines makes sure you’re equipped with that knowledge – because we want what’s best for our divers.

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  1. Liking your blog but I would have to disagree that these are common injuries. Common injuries happen commonly. You make a good point that these are injuries which might occur if a diver is having a bad day, however it is a trifle alarming to think these are a regular occurrence. I think the most common injuries would be strains from repeatedly lifting heavy gear, or cuts and abrasions from boat decks, rusty wrecks and getting too close to the reef, or perhaps even sunburn! Across thousands of dives in all sorts of conditions I have dealt with more of these events than AGE or DCI. I guess we all need to keep our eye on worst case scenarios, and also keep everything in context. KM – IMCA Diver Medic, IMCA Asst. Life Support Tech., First Aid Instr., Chamber Op.

  2. It's a good article to be shared among diver and i'm totally agree with Kelvin says.

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