Reprinted with permission from Chantelle Taylor-Newman of Dive Medic
DAN Case study 8
This diver was a 61-year-old male in good health, taking no medications.
He was on a liveaboard dive vessel in the South Pacific, vacationing with his son. He had completed 700 lifetime dives over 35 years. On this trip he had performed 13 dives over a five day period breathing air (two or three dives per day). His deepest dive was to 148 fsw (45 msw) and he reported having no problems with any of the dives. This was his typical style of diving.
His final day of diving started with a 148 fsw (45 msw) dive for 37 min with a customary safety stop. Upon surfacing, he became disorientated and had numbness and weakness in both legs. He required help getting back into the boat. The only oxygen immediately available was a nitrox blend. He was able to get up and walk to his cabin without assistance after breathing the blend; but his symptoms had only slightly improved. He was then taken to a medical clinic and placed on 100% oxygen. From there he was transported to a remote chamber facility.
His only improvement to this point was a slight reduction in disorientation. Six hours after initial symptom onset he received his first USN TT6. A physician’s evaluation revealed numbness, weakness and hyperreflexia in his legs. His mental clarity issues resolved, but his other symptoms progressed to lower extremity paralysis, severe pain in the abdomen and legs and loss of bowel and bladder function.
His symptoms worsened by the next morning, whereupon he received a second USN TT6 and a USN TT5 each day for two more days. He was then transported to a second hyperbaric medical clinic and received two more wound healing treatments without improvement. He was then evacuated home.
Two years from the incident; his legs remain paralyzed with minimal movement, he had limited bowel and bladder function and was medicated for his chronic pain. Further diving was not possible for this individual.
kirkscubagear published this post not to scare divers, but strickly as an informative piece.