Gas Embolism Injuries in Commercial Dives
Commercial divers are at risk of suffering from gas embolisms any time they dive. A gas embolism is a dangerous medical condition that occurs when a gas bubble is formed in the bloodstream as a result of pressure underwater. Divers and employers must be as careful as possible to prevent this serious medical issue from occurring. If it does happen, the victim might experience serious injuries or even death.
What Causes Gas Embolisms?
During a commercial dive, situations can happen that may cause these embolisms to form. One of the most common causes is an uncontrolled decompression. This occurs when the diver is brought up to the surface too quickly. Another cause is an obstruction in the equipment which can force compressed gas into the diver’s airway. These situations are preventable, but when they happen immediate medical treatment is necessary for a successful recovery.
Injuries Caused by Air in the Bloodstream
It is very dangerous to the body to have gas embolisms. Air bubbles travel along in the blood and can burst. When this occurs in a major organ, it can have devastating results. For example, if the gas bubble gets into the lungs it can result in organ damage. If it reaches the brain, the diver may suffer serious brain damage which can lead to the need for extensive medical care and a lifetime disability.
Divers who experience gas embolisms must receive recompression treatment in a hyperbaric chamber as quickly as possible. The failure to provide adequate care after a commercial diving accident could lead to a life-threatening situation. If the victim survives, he could face extensive medical treatments and ongoing care which could extend for the rest of his life.
Claiming an Injury
Victims who suffer a serious commercial dive injury due to the negligence of another may be entitled to make a claim. The responsible party should provide payment for all costs associated with the injury. The Jones Act provides protection for those injured in maritime accidents including commercial dive incidents. The employer could be held responsible for the accident because of negligent actions.
For example, the failure to properly maintain diving equipment could cause a serious injury. Companies are required to comply with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards. The failure to provide a safe work environment could be a contributing factor in the accident. If the company did not act quickly enough to provide medical treatment after the incident, this could also be considered negligent behavior.
What to Do After a Commercial Diving Accident
First and foremost, victims and their families need to be focused on medical care and recovery. However, it is best to consult with a qualified commercial diving accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will review every aspect of the accident, request reports, and obtain information to help protect your rights. You may be owed money for your medical expenses and other damages. In addition, you may be compensated for pain and suffering, lost wages, and the costs of long-term care if required.