Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in a recompression chamber is the primary treatment for decompression sickness. Increased atmospheric
pressure reduces the size of nitrogen bubbles and helps them dissolve into the bloodstream. Oxygen-supersaturated blood displaces
nitrogen and reaches deep into oxygen-deprived tissues.
Important: Those suffering symptoms of decompression sickness or arterial gas embolism should seek emergency treatment
at the closest emergency medical facility rather than risking a longer trip to a facility with a hyperbaric chamber.
Note: In the United States, treatment for decompression sickness resulting from recreational scuba diving
activity is generally not covered by health insurance. The Diver's Alert Network (see
Patient Resources offers a complete range of insurance programs which cover all aspects of
treatment for decompression sickness.
Read the page
in the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society resource library to learn more about decompression sickness;
the rationale for hyperbaric oxygen therapy; and treatment protocols, key clinical evidence, and success factors.