Decompression sickness is the release of gas bubbles into the blood and is caused by a sudden decrease in pressure around the body. More commonly known as “the bends,” decompression sickness or DCS most notably afflicts SCUBA divers. Oxygen and nitrogen bubbles form in the organs and tissues during a long or deep dive. Nitrogen bubbles enter the bloodstream when a diver ascends too rapidly. Flying in an un-pressurized airplane may also cause decompression sickness. It is the most common cause of air or gas embolism. An embolism is a blockage in the bloodstream. A bubble can obstruct blood flow and damage the brain, the heart, or other vital organs and tissues, resulting in pain or death. Permanent disabilities may include vision impairment, paralysis, and respiratory problems. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the primary treatment for decompression sickness. Increased atmospheric pressure reduces the size of nitrogen bubbles and helps them dissolve into the bloodstream. Oxygen-supersaturated blood displaces nitrogen and reaches deep into oxygen-deprived tissues.
Orlando Hyperbarics provides Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in a convenient and comfortable non-hospital facility. The center, located at 6200 Lee Vista Boulevard, Suite 250, Orlando, Florida 32822, is served by SR 436 and SR 528, easily accessed from Orlando International Airport, and located near Orlando’s Medical City in Lake Nona.