The diving accident is a rare incident for an emergency physician which requires special physical and patho-physiological knowledge. With increasing recreational activities and the fascination of diving also for older persons diving accidents are expected to occur more often. There can be several reasons for diving accidents such as the ignorance of the physics of diving, a trauma under water as well as internistical illnesses like heart attach, stroke or hypoglycaemia. The therapy of the underlying illness should not be left aside while dealing with the patient. The careful rescue and the immobilisation are most important for the initial therapy. The patient should receive oxygen, if possible via a demand valve, until a hyperbaric chamber is reached. There is no specific medical therapy for decompression illness. It is very important that a pre-information is sent to the closest hyperbaric chamber as soon as possible since often the chamber needs some time to be properly prepared for usage. In order to receive information regarding the depth where the diving incident occured, the duration of the diving trip and the decompression stops, it is important to secure the diving computer of the victim for the hyperbaric chamber. Also outside diving, decompression illness can occur, for example working in a tunnel under hyperbaric conditions. These accidents have to be treated according to the same guidelines.
Castan, Wirtz, Moecke, Schmidbauer, Ahlers, Kerner, , , (2010). [First therapy of decompression injuries]. Anasthesiologie, Intensivmedizin, Notfallmedizin, Schmerztherapie : AINS, 2010 Feb;45(2):80-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20155636