Decompression Sickness in Miskito Indian Lobster Divers: Review of 229 Cases
Abstract:Barratt DM, Van Meter K, Decompression sickness in Miskito Indian lobster divers: review of 229 cases. Aviat Space Environ Med 2004; 75:350–353.
Background: The Miskito Indian lobster divers of Central America employ very provocative diving profiles and experience severe neurological decompression sickness (DCS) and/or arterial gas embolism (AGE). Scientific data are scarce regarding the clinical patterns of injury, response to treatment, and functional outcomes for such cases. Methods: A retrospective review of 229 cases of DCS and/or AGE was conducted at 2 hyperbaric units in Central America. Results: The following deficits were recorded on presentation: any neurological deficit: 94%; motor: 79%; sensory: 60%; urinary: 48%; reflex: 45%; and loss of consciousness: 20%. The patterns of weakness (n = 182) were as follows: paraparesis: 27%; paraplegia: 26%; lower extremity monoparesis: 14%; lower extremity monoplegia: 6%; quadriparesis: 4%; hemiparesis: 4%; hemiplegia: 3%; and quadriplegia: 2%. Treatment was delayed by a mean and median of 5 and 2 d, respectively. The majority received hyperbaric oxygen and systemic steroids. Motor function on discharge (n = 182) was as follows: normal: 30%; paraparesis: 15%; lower extremity monoparesis: 15%; paraplegia: 3%; quadriparesis: 2%; hemiparesis: 2%; and missing data/other: 33%. Gait on discharge (n = 182) was as follows: normal: 19%; abnormal: 19%; required one crutch: 10%; required two crutches: 16%; not ambulatory: 5%; and missing data: 31%. Discussion: The majority of severe injuries could be localized to the thoracolumbar spinal cord. One-fifth had bilateral cerebral dysfunction manifested by loss of consciousness. Despite long delays to treatment, divers responded to hyperbaric oxygen. At the time of discharge, almost a third had complete recovery of strength and the majority were ambulatory.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-04-01
More about this publication?
- The peer-reviewed monthly journal, Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine (ASEM) provides contact with physicians, life scientists, bioengineers, and medical specialists working in both basic medical research and in its clinical applications. It is the most used and cited journal in its field. ASEM is distributed to more than 80 nations.
To access volumes 86 to present, please click here.
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Information for Advertisers
- Submit Articles
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites