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Updates in Decompression Illness

Diving is a popular activity. Besides enjoying the water, it is good to be aware of the medical problems that may arise during a dive. We can recommend reading the article “Updates in Decompression Illness”, by Pollock and Buteau which was published this month.


Decompression sickness and arterial gas embolism, collectively known as decompression illness (DCI), are rare but serious afflictions that can result from compressed gas diving exposures. Risk is primarily determined by the pressure-time profile but is influenced by several factors. DCI can present idiosyncratically but with a wide range of neurologic symptoms. Examination is critical for assessment in the absence of diagnostic indicators. Many conditions must be considered in the differential diagnosis. High-fraction oxygen breathing provides first aid but definitive treatment of DCI is hyperbaric oxygen.

The full article can be downloaded here (free until June 01, 2017).

Dive & Marine Life Support course

Are you a keen diver? Or do you have affinity with other water sports? Outdoor Medcine organizes a Dive & Marine Life Support course (DMLS), to introduce you to essential elements of dive medicine, marine medicine, emergency medicine and wilderness medicine. You will learn to prevent and recognize acute and life-threatening conditions related to several water sports, as well as to initiate first treatment of these conditions. Main content of the course consists of practical trainings in and around Bonaire’s shores and seas. Experts will give lectures about e.g. the (patho)physiology of diving; drowning; hypothermia; treatment of stings and bites by sea animals; traumas and injuries at sea; search and rescue during emergencies in the water and maritime communication. The course is designed for medics and paramedics, working in all specialisms. Diving is an integral part of the course. If you are unable to dive it is possible to do snorkeling instead of diving. In addition to the diving we will go sailing for a day and visit the hyperbaric chamber of Bonaire.


  • When? 23-09-2017 until 30-09-2017
  • Where? Bonaire
  • Language? English
  • Accreditation? We have applied for accreditation by ABAN for 18 points for all medical specialisms (for Dutch participants). In the case of (early) registration of (Dutch) nurses, we will also apply for accreditation by V&VN. 
  • More information and registration.


Pollock NW, Buteau D. Updates in Decompression Illness. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2017;35(2):301-31