Dysbarism Caused by Commercial Dive Accidents
Commercial divers take part in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Although divers are highly trained and extremely experienced, they can still suffer serious injuries if an accident happens. Injuries can occur due to pressure changes in the body during and after a deep dive. Dysbarism is a condition that is caused by this change in pressure. It consists of different injuries including decompression sickness, gas embolisms, and other barotraumas.
Types of Dysbarism
Dysbarism is a broad term that includes a variety of illnesses that occur when the body is subjected to pressure changes. Some of the most serious of these illnesses include:
- Decompression Sickness: Also commonly called “the bends,” this can be a very severe medical condition. It occurs when a diver ascends to the surface too quickly. The body is not able to properly re-pressurize resulting in serious illness.
- Gas Embolisms: Gas embolisms are bubbles of gas that typically consist of nitrogen. When the body is subject to the pressure of deep water, gas bubbles can form and travel throughout the system where they become trapped. When a diver resurfaces too fast, the bubbles can burst and cause trauma to the organs.
- Ear Barotraumas: The ears are extremely susceptible to pressurization problems. Vertigo, ruptured eardrums, and fluid collection are all among the medical illnesses that happen due to pressure imbalances during commercial dives.
Symptoms and Treatment of Dysbarism
There are many symptoms that may indicate dysbarism. The diver immediately realizes that there are medical problems. He may feel extreme pressure, and in some cases, he could lose consciousness. Once at the surface, additional symptoms will become apparent. These include a variety of things such as headache, shortness of breath, seizures, vertigo, vomiting, body aches and skin rash. In the most serious cases, the victim can be paralyzed or may die.
Immediate medical treatment is necessary to a patient’s potential for recovery. A decompression chamber also called a hyperbolic chamber, is a medical device that allows the patient’s body to decompress in a controlled manner, this could help to reduce the severity of the injuries. However, sometimes the victim’s injuries are severe and permanent.
Negligence in Commercial Dives
Negligence may have occurred to cause or contribute to a diver’s accident and injuries. Improper safety methods, faulty equipment and inadequate training and supervision, are problems that could amount to negligence. The employer is required to provide a safe working environment and if an accident happens, must initiate emergency medical treatment. The failure to do so could cause the victim’s injuries to worsen.
Making a Legal Claim
When a serious injury occurs because of the negligence of another, the victim or his family may be able to file a claim. The Jones Act is federal legislation that allows victims of maritime accidents, including commercial divers, the ability to file legal claims against their employers. An experienced commercial dive attorney will investigate the accident and gather information necessary to proceed with a legal case. You may be entitled to compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.