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Patent Foramen Ovale is a hole between the upper
chambers of the heart. Everyone is born with it, but
for 70-80 percent of people, it closes naturally after
birth. It's diagnosed by a cardiologist conducting an
echocardiogram bubble test. Divers with a PFO are at
a much higher risk for DCS than others, as the sidebar
I did not suspect DCS and didn't tell the leader.
I vomited, took Benadryl, and went to sleep,
skipping the 4th dive and my birthday dinner.
One of our correspondents, a 60-year-old woman
diver, had a bends hit, after which she discovered her
PFO. We want to share her story with you. It's a case
that demonstrates too much diving upon arrival at a
destination, dehydration, not catching early symptoms,
the difficulty of getting to a recompression chamber,
the ordeal of a chamber, and dealing with the cost,
even though she had DAN insurance. Thankfully, she
has no lingering problems, but she tells a cautionary
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