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August 29, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(9):760-761. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540090042004

Modern engineering activities have made extensive tunneling operations much more common than they formerly were, and submarine tasks by divers and caisson workers multiply in frequency, with the consequence that the serious effects that may follow exposure to high atmospheric pressure are being observed more and more commonly. The very practical question of the best means of avoiding these harmful results is one that interests both physicians and contractors, and the importance of this subject for naval work is such that the British Admiralty appointed a committee on deep diving to investigate the problems arising in this connection. Extensive experimental studies were made and correlated with practical experience, with interesting and important results.1

Since the experiments of Paul Bert in 1878 the principal fact concerning the genesis of compressed-air illness or caisson disease has been understood; namely, that it depends on the taking up by the blood and body

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