Caisson disease is an industrial hazard encountered in the building of bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers where compressed air is employed. In the past this malady has caused permanent disability and death in many instances. Certain principles of prophylaxis and new concepts of treatment are here presented aiming to reduce this industrial hazard.
THE CAUSATION OF CAISSON DISEASE
Caisson disease is caused by nitrogen gas, a physical agent. Emboli are produced by the formation of nitrogen gas bubbles in the tissues and blood stream which interfere with normal life processes.A homogeneous mixture of gases in the atmosphere covers the earth to a height of approximately 4 1/2 miles. The atmospheric pressure is the weight of these gases on the earth's surface and is expressed in pounds per square inch. Although atmospheric pressure varies slightly, it is approximately 15 pounds per square inch.The interchange of gases in the lungs and
THORNE IJ. CAISSON DISEASEA STUDY BASED ON THREE HUNDRED CASES OBSERVED AT THE QUEENS-MIDTOWN TUNNEL PROJECT, 1938. JAMA. 1941;117(8):585–588. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820340007003
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