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April 2001 Vol. 16, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Viagra Won’t Help

from the April, 2001 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Before you push your computer or make that extra dive, consider the possible long term consequences of getting bent.

The Divers Alert Network (DAN) reviewed all reported cases of decompression illness reported between 1990 and 1997. Of 3,960 cases, 164 reported paralysis. They interviewed 69 of these (51 men and 19 women) whose mean age was 41 (they ranged 19 to 70 years) whose accident had occurred an average of 6.1 years earlier.

On an average, paralysis began within ten minutes of surfacing. All but two of the 69 received recompression treatment, which took an average of four hours to get underway from the onset of paralysis.

Thirty-five of these divers (51%) had residual symptoms. Fourteen (20%)had itching, a prickly feeling, weakness or pain. Twenty-one (30%) had some impairment in daily activities: 11 of these had difficulty walking (one was wheelchair bound), 13 had impaired urination, 15 had impaired anal sphincter function, and 15 had impaired sexual function.

Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine, Volume 27, 2000 Supplement.

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