Venous gas embolism in chamber attendants after hyperbaric exposure.

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Venous gas embolism in chamber attendants after hyperbaric exposure.

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Title: Venous gas embolism in chamber attendants after hyperbaric exposure.
Author: Risberg, J; Englund, M; Aanderud, L; Eftedal, O; Flook, V; Thorsen, E
Abstract: An initial occupational survey (OS) was initiated to investigate the prevalence of venous gas embolism (VGE) in chamber attendants assisting hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) treatments. Nine female subjects were exposed for three consecutive days to the routine hospital procedure of compressed air exposure to 240 kPa for approximately 115 min with 12 min of terminal oxygen (O2) breathing. VGE was monitored with ultrasound Doppler in 15 min intervals for 2h after the first and third exposure. A follow-up experimental study was completed to investigate whether changed breathing gases and decompression would affect the high incidence of VGE observed in the OS. Ten female subjects were randomly exposed to the routine or revised profile (12 and 24 min of terminal O2 breathing respectively), and a Nitrox profile (breathing gas 40.5% O2 in Nitrogen during 90 min of the isobaric phase). VGE was monitored with transthoracic ultrasound scanner and Doppler. In the OS precordial VGE grade III (Doppler) was observed in five subjects, but median resting precordial VGE was Grade 0 both days and VGE score at all sites were equal Days 1 and 3. In the experimental study, median resting precordial VGE was Grade 0 (Doppler) and Grade 1 (Scanner). VGE Grade III (Doppler) was observed in all series, but VGE scores were not significantly different between the series. We conclude that chamber attendants assisting HBO2 treatment at 240 kPa for approximately 115 min are exposed to a significant decompression stress using the profiles tested in the present study.
Description: Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4026
Date: 2004

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