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Encyclopedia > Barotrauma

Barotrauma is physical damage to body tissues caused by a difference in pressure between an air space inside or beside the body and the surrounding gas or liquid. Pressure (symbol: p) is the force per unit area acting on a surface in a direction perpendicular to that surface. ... A gas is one of the four main phases of matter (after solid and liquid, and followed by plasma), that subsequently appear as a solid material is subjected to increasingly higher temperatures. ... A liquid will assume the shape of its container. ...


Barotrauma typically occurs to air spaces within a body when that body moves to or from a higher pressure environment, such as when a SCUBA diver, a free-diving diver or an airplane passenger ascends or descends. Boyle's law defines the relationship between the volume of the air space and the ambient pressure. SCUBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. ... Freedive photographer Free-diving is an aquatic sport, considered an extreme sport, in which divers attempt to reach great depths unassisted by breathing apparatus. ... Image:Boyle. ... Volume, also called capacity, is a quantification of how much space an object occupies. ... Pressure (symbol: p) is the force per unit area acting on a surface in a direction perpendicular to that surface. ...


Damage occurs in the tissues around the body's air spaces because gases are compressible and the tissues are not. During increases in ambient pressure, the internal air space provides the surrounding tissues with little support to resist the higher external pressure. During decreases in ambient pressure, the higher pressure of the gas inside the air spaces causes damage to the surrounding tissues if that gas becomes trapped.

Contents


Diving barotrauma

Types of injury

Examples of organs or tissues easily damaged by barotrauma due to diving are:

For an alternative meaning, see ear (botany). ... The paranasal sinuses are eight (four pairs) air-filled spaces, or sinuses, within the bones of the skull and face. ... Aerosinusitis, also called barosinusitis, sinus squeeze or sinus barotrauma is a painful inflammation and sometimes bleeding of the membrane of the paranasal sinus cavities, normally the frontal sinus. ... The heart and lungs (from an older edition of Grays Anatomy) The lung is an organ belonging to the respiratory system and interfacing to the circulatory system of air-breathing vertebrates. ... This article refers to the sight organ. ... A diving mask A diving mask is an item of diving equipment that allows the SCUBA diver to see underwater. ... Diagram of the layers of human skin In zootomy and dermatology, skin is an organ of the integumentary system composed of a layer of tissues that protect underlying muscles and organs. ... Two divers, one wearing a 1 atmosphere diving suit and the other standard diving dress, preparing to explore the wreck of the RMS Lusitania, 1935. ...

Squeeze

The term 'squeeze' describes the phenomenon of a shrinking air space on descent and the pain felt by the diver when this happens. Most lung pressure damage occurs on ascent where the high-pressure gas in the lung causes it to expand. As the lungs do not sense pain when over-expanded, the diver receives no warning to prevent the injury.


Causes

When diving, the pressure differences needed to cause the barotrauma come from two sources: Pressure (symbol: p) is the force per unit area acting on a surface in a direction perpendicular to that surface. ...

  • descending and ascending in water. There are two components to the surrounding pressure acting on the diver: the atmospheric pressure and the water pressure. A descent of 10 metres (33 feet) in water increases the ambient pressure by approximately the pressure of the atmosphere at sea level. So, a descent from the surface to 10 metres (33 feet) underwater results is a doubling of the pressure on the diver.
  • breathing gas at depth from SCUBA equipment results in the lungs containing gas at a higher pressure than atmospheric pressure. So a free-diving diver can dive to 10 metres (33 feet) and safely ascend without exhaling because the gas in the lungs was inhaled at atmospheric pressure, whereas a SCUBA diver who breathes at 10 metres and ascends without exhaling, has lungs containing gas at twice atmospheric pressure and is very likely to suffer life threatening lung damage.

diurnal (daily) rhythm of air pressure in northern Germany (black curve is air pressure) Atmospheric pressure is the pressure above any area in the Earths atmosphere caused by the weight of air. ... SCUBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. ... Freedive photographer Free-diving is an aquatic sport, considered an extreme sport, in which divers attempt to reach great depths unassisted by breathing apparatus. ... SCUBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. ...

Equalising

Diving barotrauma can be avoided by eliminating any pressure differences acting on the tissue or organ by equalising the pressure. There are a variety of techniques:

  • The air spaces in the ears, and the sinuses. The risk is burst eardrum. Here, the diver can use the valsalva manoeuvre, to let air into the middle ears via the Eustachian tubes. Sometimes swallowing will open the Eustachian tubes and equalize the ears.
  • The lungs. The risk is pneumothorax. which is commonly called burst lung by divers. To equalize, always breathe normally and never hold the breath. This risk does not arise when snorkel diving from the surface, unless the snorkeller breathes from a high pressure gas source underwater, or from submerged air pockets.
  • The air inside the usual eyes-and-nose diving mask. The main risk is bleeding round the eyes. Here, let air into the mask through the nose. Do not dive in eyes-only goggles as sometimes seen on land with industrial breathing sets.
  • Air spaces inside a dry suit. The main risk is folds of skin getting pinched inside folds of the drysuit. Most modern drysuits have a tube connection to feed air in from the cylinder. Air must be injected on the descent and vented on the ascent.

For alternative meanings, see ear (disambiguation). ... A sinus is a pouch or cavity in any organ or tissue, or an abnormal cavity or passage caused by the destruction of tissue. ... A Valsalva maneuver is a forced expiration against the nose and mouth held closed. ... For an alternative meaning, see ear (botany). ... Anatomy of the human ear. ... The lungs flank the heart and great vessels in the chest cavity. ... In medicine (pulmonology), a pneumothorax or collapsed lung is a medical emergency caused by the collapse of the lung within the chest cavity. ... A diving mask A diving mask is an item of diving equipment that allows the SCUBA diver to see underwater. ... Watersport goggles Ski goggles Blowtorching goggles and safety helmet Goggles and safety glasses are forms of protective eyewear that usually enclose or protect the eye area in order to prevent particulates or chemicals from striking the eyes. ... SCBA is an acronym for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. ... Two divers, one wearing a 1 atmosphere diving suit and the other standard diving dress, preparing to explore the wreck of the RMS Lusitania, 1935. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Barotrauma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (558 words)
Barotrauma is physical damage to body tissues caused by a difference in pressure between an air space inside or beside the body and the surrounding gas or liquid.
Barotrauma typically occurs to air spaces within a body when that body moves to or from a higher pressure environment, such as when a SCUBA diver, a free-diving diver or an airplane passenger ascends or descends.
Diving barotrauma can be avoided by eliminating any pressure differences acting on the tissue or organ by equalising the pressure.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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