Recreational scuba diving injuries

Am Fam Physician. 1996 Apr;53(5):1761-74.


Because of the increasing popularity of recreational scuba diving, primary care physicians should be familiar with common diving injuries. One form of barotrauma, middle ear squeeze, is the most common diving injury. Other important diving injuries include inner ear barotrauma and pulmonary barotrauma. Arterial gas embolism, a potentially life-threatening form of pulmonary barotrauma, requires hyperbaric treatment. Decompression sickness is the result of bubble formation in body tissue. Symptoms of decompression sickness range from joint pain to neurologic or pulmonary problems. Recompression is the mainstay of treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Barotrauma / diagnosis*
  • Barotrauma / etiology*
  • Barotrauma / therapy
  • Decompression Sickness / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diving / injuries*
  • Ear / injuries
  • Embolism, Air / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Injury