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February 8, 1947

DECOMPRESSION SICKNESSSome Factors Which Affect the Incidence of Bends at Altitude

JAMA. 1947;133(6):373-377. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880060015004

The expression decompression sickness refers to a group of symptoms and signs which occur on exposure of the body to a too rapid and large decrease in barometric pressure and which are most likely due to the formation or growth of bubbles of gas1 and not initially to anoxia.

The symptoms are essentially the same whether the person is decompressed from high pressure to sea level pressure, as in caisson disease, or from sea level pressure to altitudes of 25,000 feet or above. The treatment of the symptoms is the same whether they occur in divers or in fliers, namely recompression, though, as in caisson disease, the symptoms may occasionally recur or occur after recompression. The prevention of the symptoms is the same in divers and in fliers, namely denitrogenation or the removal of most of the liter of dissolved gaseous nitrogen by the inhalation of pure oxygen for

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