Pulmonary barotrauma (PB) is caused by expansion of gases in the respiratory system. We describe 22 cases in divers that constituted 10.2% of the accidents treated at the Spanish navy’s hyperbaric center (1969-1990). Hemoptysis (27.2%), subcutaneous emphysema (22.7%) and chest pain (9.1%) were the most frequent thoracic-pulmonary signs. Changes in consciousness (54.5%) and motility (22.7%) were the main neurological symptoms. The highest indices of PB were recorded during training exercises in diving courses, with 91% of the trauma patients recuperating with no aftereffects thanks to prompt deep (50 m) recompression. Protocols for applying therapeutic tables are described, and the advantages of using tables for oxygen as opposed to air are discussed. Finally, we justify the need to have a hyperbaric chamber nearby for treating this type of accident.

Lucas Martín, Pujante Escudero, González Aquino, Sánchez Gascón, , , , , (1994). [The lung overexpansion syndrome as a diving accident. A review of 22 cases]. Archivos de bronconeumologia, 1994 May;30(5):231-5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8025796