[abstract]HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE INNER EAR BAROTRAUMA FROM DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS: A CLINICAL CHALLENGE

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[abstract]HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE INNER EAR BAROTRAUMA FROM DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS: A CLINICAL CHALLENGE

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Title: [abstract]HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE INNER EAR BAROTRAUMA FROM DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS: A CLINICAL CHALLENGE
Author: Chiasson SA; Labrecque M
Abstract: Background: Inner ear barotrauma and decompression sickness may present as diagnostic challenge because both diseases share similar symptoms. The treatment of inner ear decompression sickness is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but ear barotrauma is a contraindication to this treatment. Objective: We present a case of inner ear decompression sickness, which illustrates the difficulty in distinguishing it from barotrauma. We will enhance important clinical elements to orient towards the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Case: A 37-year-old man is brought to the hospital with a possible diagnosis of inner ear decompression sickness. He complains of vertigo, nausea, a sense of ear fullness and right hearing loss. He denies other symptoms of decompression sickness. Symptoms appeared after a dive at 120 feet about 30 minutes after regaining the ground. There was no violation of decompression tables, and the diver did not have any symptoms during descent. The physical exam was normal except for inability to perform tandem. Otoscopic examination was unremarkable for a middle ear barotrauma. A diagnosis of inner ear decompression sickness was made. The patient had one hyperbaric treatment five hours after the beginning of his symptoms and recovered completely from his deficits. Conclusion: This case illustrates well the challenging diagnostic approach of inner ear diseases related to scuba diving. The difference between inner ear decompression sickness and barotrauma relies on diving history, symptoms and the integrity of tympanic membrane upon otoscopic examination.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10516
Date: 2012

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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