Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Decompression Sickness

  • Eric CatlinEmail author
  • Kayla LaRosa
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9231


Aeroembolism; Air embolism; Caisson disease; Diver’s condition; The bends


Decompression sickness is a syndrome that can occur in divers, aviators, astronauts, or compressed air workers in which bubbles form in or outside of the blood vessels, usually in the spinal cord or brain, due to increased pressure and inadequate decompression (Vann et al. 2011; Thalmann 2004). Higher concentration of bubbles results in numbness, tingling, paralysis, confusion, personality changes, amnesia, and loss of consciousness as early as 15 min after resurfacing (Thalmann 2004). Failure to seek treatment may result in permanent neurologic or cerebral deficits (Thalmann 2004).

References and Readings

  1. Thalmann, E. D. (2004). Decompression illness: What is it and what is the treatment?. Retrieved from: http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/Decompression_Illness_What_Is_It_and_What_Is_The_Treatment.
  2. Vann, R. D., Butler, F. K., Mitchell, S. J., & Moon, R. E. (2011). Decompression illness. Lancet, 377(9760), 153–164.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physical Medicine and RehabilitationUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Educational and Psychological Studies/TBI Model SystemsUniversity of South Florida/J.A. Haley VATampaUSA