What is the Best Therapeutic Strategy for Decompression Illness? First Aid Oxygen Inhalation and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Kiyotaka KOHSHI, Yoshitaka MORIMATSU, Hideharu NISHIKIORI, Hideki TAMAKI, Tatsuya ISHITAKE
2021 Journal of UOEH  
Decompression illness (DCI), a syndrome following inadequate reduction in environmental pressure, has two forms: decompression sickness and arterial gas embolism after pulmonary barotrauma. Recompression therapy using oxygen, a kind of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, has been considered the gold standard treatment for DCI, although there is no randomized controlled trial evidence for its use. We evaluated the effectiveness of recompression therapy in treating DCI by reviewing the reported
more » ... results of serious DCI, especially neurological disorders. Early or ultra-early recompression therapy did not dramatically improve clinical recovery from DCI symptoms, including spinal cord disorders. In contrast, early first aid normobaric oxygen inhalation highly improved or stabilized clinical conditions of DCI. Based on these clinical results, the international committee for hyperbaric and diving medicine has stated that cases of mild DCI may be managed without recompression therapy. Further work is needed to clarify the clinical utility of recompression therapy for spinal injury as a common symptom of DCI. We also point out that the Japanese decree "Ordinance on Safety and Health of Work under High Pressure", which describes work under hyperbaric environments, has some serious issues and should be amended on the basis of scientific evidence.
doi:10.7888/juoeh.43.243 pmid:34092769 fatcat:xer73ksd6bh5hl72qti27c34xa